Saturday, July 2, 2022


The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.


SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Petition: Allow Incarcerated Michiganders to Earn Time Off Sentences


Wednesday, April 27, 2022   

A prospective ballot initiative in Michigan would allow people in prison to earn time off their sentences through work training, earning a college degree or participating in anger-management or drug-treatment programs.

The Good Time Initiative would mean earning credit toward completion of a person's sentence or the time until they'd be eligible for parole.

Machelle Pearson was sentenced to life without parole in Michigan when she was 17. She was released in 2018 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that indiscriminately sentencing juveniles to life terms is unconstitutional. Pearson said the ability to earn time off a sentence would bring hope to many in Michigan prisons.

"They said that this is supposed to be a system of rehabilitation. It's not," she said. "If we don't choose to rehabilitate ourself and come out here and be productive, it's not going to happen - because the system is not doing it. They're locking them up; they're throwing away the key."

Groups are working to collect the 450,000 signatures needed by May 15 to get the Good Time Initiative on the ballot. Forty-four other states have similar policies, but Michigan has a "Truth in Sentencing" law that requires people convicted of certain felonies to complete their full sentence.

Durrel Douglas, founder and executive director of Houston Justice, used to work in the Texas Department of Corrections. Texas allows prisoners to earn time off their sentence, and Douglas said he saw firsthand how that opportunity positively affected them. He said he thinks earning "good time" would not only be positive for people serving time but also for the state of Michigan, since returning citizens would have more skills to contribute to their communities.

"If we really, truly want to end mass incarceration, if we really truly want to provide that light at the end of the tunnel - that inspires good behavior, that keeps us safe, that lowers tensions behind bars," he said, "we've got to get this done."

The average annual cost to keep one person in a Michigan state prison for a year is more than 40-thousand dollars, and one out of five taxpayer dollars is spent on corrections.

get more stories like this via email
While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …


The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …

The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …


Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

By Sarah Melotte for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection for the Public News Service/Daily Yonder Collabor…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021