SENATE BILL NO. 195
A bill to amend 1953 PA 232, entitled
"Corrections code of 1953,"
(MCL 791.201 to 791.285) by adding section 14a.
the people of the state of michigan enact:
Sec. 14a. (1) The department shall create a family reunification policy. The family reunification policy must include the creation of a permanent family advisory board that consists of not fewer than 11 and not more than 16 members, including the following:
(a) One individual designated by the director who is an employee of the department.
(b) The legislative corrections ombudsman.
(c) Not fewer than 4 or more than 6 individuals who are family members of individuals currently incarcerated in Michigan.
(d) Not fewer than 1 or more than 3 individuals who are family members of individuals who were formerly incarcerated in Michigan.
(e) Not fewer than 1 individual who has a parent formerly or currently incarcerated in Michigan.
(f) Not fewer than 1 or more than 2 individuals who were formerly incarcerated in Michigan.
(g) One individual who is a social worker who has training and expertise dealing with mental health issues and experience working with formerly or currently incarcerated individuals.
(h) One individual who is an advocate for or mentor to individuals incarcerated in Michigan.
(2) In addition to regular meetings of the family advisory board, the board shall hold at least 2 public informational meetings each year for family members and the public to provide comments. The public informational meetings for family members and the public to provide comments must not be held in the same region of this state.
(3) Members of the family advisory board shall serve without compensation. However, members of the board may be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties as members of the board.
(4) The family advisory board shall do all of the following:
(a) Assist the department by providing feedback regarding policies and procedures that impact family reunification during and after incarceration.
(b) Assist and advise the department regarding the development of programs that support family reunification during and after incarceration.
(c) Enhance communication between the department and families regarding issues that impact a broad range of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals and their families, including, but not limited to, gathering information from individuals in the region and across the state with family members who are or have been incarcerated, including a review of comment cards submitted at individual correctional facilities.
(d) Identify barriers concerning family reunification during and after incarceration.
(e) File an annual report with the chairs of the committees of the senate and house of representatives concerned with the department and criminal justice issues regarding its activities under this section. The report must be filed not later than October 1 of each year.
(5) The department shall provide any staffing necessary for the family advisory board to fulfill its duties under this section.
(6) The family advisory board may, in its discretion, create regional committees or facility-focused family councils to carry out its duties.
(7) The department shall provide information about the family advisory board on its website and in the waiting rooms of correctional facilities, including the board's contact information for obtaining information and assistance with family-related issues.
Enacting section 1. This amendatory act takes effect October 1, 2020.