State News

Cost of injustice: Michigan fund for the wrongly imprisoned needs more money

April 25, 2021, 11:36 AM

State officials ask legislators for about $7 million to prop up a fund that compensates former prisoners whose criminal convictions are reversed.

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The House has approved that amount in a supplemental budget bill and a Senate version is coming, Beth LeBlanc reports at The Detroit News with this background:

The state of Michigan is running short of cash in its Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act fund as about $9 million in claims from formerly incarcerated individuals are coming due.

The fund is expected to have a balance of about $1.2 million in the next 30 days — a $2.7-million dip from the $3.9-million balance at the end of 2020. ... 

Unjustly convicted men and women qualify under the 2016 law for $50,000 for each year behind bars. More than $22 million was paid from August 2017 to the start of this year, the paper says. 

An aide to Attorney General Dana Nessel tells LeBlanc: "Any of several of the outstanding claims would put the fund in the red."

Read more:  The Detroit News

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