LANSING, Mich. — (AP) - A task force says Michigan should reclassify many traffic offenses as civil infractions, release more defendants before trial without requiring them to pay money and take other steps to reduce jail populations that tripled in under 40 years. 

The 21-member group was created by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer with support from Republican legislative leaders. It delivered its findings and 18 recommendations to lawmakers Tuesday. 

Jail Changes
Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, second from right, present a report on jail and pretrial incarceration to House Speaker Lee Chatfield, second from left, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich. A task force is recommending an overhaul to bail, arraignment timelines, sentencing and other policies after jail populations have tripled in under 40 years. (AP Photo/David Eggert)

Suggestions include giving police more discretion to issue appearance tickets instead of arresting people, shortening the time people spend in jail between their arrest and arraignment, and reducing maximum probation terms for most felonies.


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