Lawmakers React To Proposed 'Earned Time" Law

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A proposed law is focusing on the idea of earned rather than automatic.

State Senator Scott Lautenbaugh is pushing for change. He wants to replace the good time law with an earned time law.

"I think it make more sense to have the incentive for good behavior be that you have to earn the time shortening your sentence, rather than it be automatic," said Lautenbaugh.

It's designed specifically for violent criminals like murderers, rapists, and kidnappers.

Under the good time law every day served gives the criminal a "good time" day earned. For example, that would mean a 20 year sentence would be cut down to a 10 year sentence. Time would only be added to the sentence if the inmate displayed bad behavior or misconduct.

With the proposed earned time law, a criminal's overall sentence would stay at 20 years and only decrease with good behavior. Thus, good behavior earns a reduction to a person's sentence.

Governor Dave Hieneman is in favor of the proposal, posing this question to lawmakers.

"Do they stand with the citizens of this state? Or with the criminals? It is a very simple choice," said Hieneman.

There are lawmakers that don't feel the same way. State Senator Brad Ashford doesn't believe there is anything wrong with the current law. But he does point to inadequate areas with the correction system that need to be improved, like oversight of convicts, rehabilitation programs, and mental health screenings, ect.

Lautenbaugh said if passed, this law would only affect convicts who go to prison after the law is in place.

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