Prisoner “Trophies” Wrong

It has come to my attention that a prisoner in the State of Michigan was recently allowed to display a “trophy”, or souvenir of his crime, in his prison cell.  This is unacceptable and a slap in the face to innocent victims and their families. 

“Trophy” items can include photographs, articles of clothing or other items from a criminal act.

I believe allowing prisoners to display these keepsakes is disgusting and is the reason I co-sponsored legislation to prohibit prisoners from receiving or having in their cell any item that belonged to the criminal’s victim or any photograph, drawing or other visual image representing his victim.

My reform is about ensuring that Michigan’s corrections system remains focused on adjusting behavior and punishing criminal offenses against communities across the state. The bill does allow for an exemption in a case where the victim is an immediate family member and the prisoner has permission of that family member.

Senate Bill 645 was introduced at the request of a Michigan municipal police department after a prisoner, convicted of a sexual offense, was discovered by the victim’s family to have a picture of his victim in his prison cell. When the family asked that the photograph be removed, they were informed that a judge would have to set a no contact order to include photos and that this would’ve had to have been done before the sentencing of the criminal.

Michigan has long been a leader in the area of crime victim’s rights. This case is an example of oversight in the law that must be fixed. No victim or victim’s family should be subjected to this type of inappropriate behavior.