Senate Bill 599 will allow eligible parolees with a terminal illness to be surrounded by loved ones in their remaining time

LANSING, Mich. (June 4, 2024) — Today, the Michigan Senate passed Senate Bill 599, bipartisan legislation sponsored by Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) to allow certain medically frail prisoners eligible for medical parole to be released to an approved placement instead of a medical facility. The bill also specifies that “medically frail” parolees must present a minimal threat to society as a result of the individual’s terminal physical or mental disability with a life expectancy under 18 months.

“Parole for medically fragile prisoners not only grants terminal patients the dignity to live out the end of their lives in a more suitable, ethical environment, but it is also a practical solution that will allow the Michigan Dept. of Corrections to focus its resources where they are most needed,” said Sen. Geiss. “By advancing this bipartisan legislation forward, we are ensuring that our state is making the most out of our criminal justice system while helping save the state money.”

Garnering support from the Dept. of Corrections, Hope Network, the Michigan League for Public Policy, and numerous other advocacy organizations from across the state, this legislation ensures compassionate care while safeguarding public safety. Parolees under consideration for this release will undergo a validated risk assessment that must indicate an unlikely risk of engaging in assaultive conduct and will continue to be electronically monitored if they are placed outside of a medical facility following their release.

Senate Bill 599 will now head to the House of Representatives for further deliberation.