Restitution instead of Incarceration

The Courts should be required to impose restitution where possible for crimes against property perpetrated by first-time offenders. There should be no incarceration except in cases of crimes committed against persons. Incarceration should not be imposed in cases of procedural violations except in cases of repeat offenders.

Every year, the Michigan Prison population rises and victims are doubly harmed by having to pay for incarceration. The primary form of punishment for vandalism, and crimes against property, should be restitution to the victims of the crime where possible. This will educate youthful offenders about the cost of their actions. The requirement of restitution is already in Article I, Section 24 of the Constitution of the State of Michigan and the Courts should be required to mandate the following items. Restitution should be mandatory.

Restitution should be to the aggrieved party.

The state should not be allowed to step in and claim to be the aggrieved party.

The state should assist the victim in collecting or receiving restitution and not claim the restitution.

The perpetrator should not be allowed to profit from their crime. Any profit gained by the offense should be granted to the victim.

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