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National

MI: Ypsilanti adds ex-offenders as protected class in nondiscrimination ordinance

[mlive.com – 3/4/20]

YPSILANTI, MI – People with felony convictions cannot be discriminated against in Ypsilanti in a new addition to the city’s non-discrimination ordinance that passed Tuesday.

Ypsilanti City Council voted unanimously to make ex-offenders a city-protected class at its meeting on March 3. Elected officials said the move will help returning citizens reintegrate into society and address racial disparities.

Speakers during public comment said felony convictions are particularly challenging to finding employment and housing after returning from prison or parole. Several said a felony conviction can often act as a discrimination tactic as a proxy for race since incarceration rates for people of color and whites are disproportionate.

The ordinance allows for exceptions if the conviction directly relates to safety or another direct relationship between the offense and the job, housing or other opportunity. Councilman Steve Wilcoxen said some residents were concerned about sex offenders, but he noted those on the sex offender registry already have limitations in place of where they can live and work.

Read the full article

 

Join the discussion

  1. David

    I am going to get a copy of the ordinance and propose it to my City Council! I would like my beloved city to be this progressive and reform-minded! And I’ll try to partner with local criminal reform & post-incarceration non-profits. 👍
    (Hell, if Ypsalanti, MI can do it, a city in California definitely should be able to do it! No offense, Ypsi!)

  2. G4Change

    “Councilman Steve Wilcoxen said some residents were concerned about sex offenders, but he noted those on the sex offender registry already have limitations in place of where they can live and work.”

    We need to make this guy aware of the recent victory by the Michigan ACLU for all registrants in that state. Guess what, Councilman Wilcoxen, those restrictions are UNCONSTITUTIONAL! People like this need to be voted out of office IMHO.

    His contact info. can be found here: https://cityofypsilanti.com/323/Elected-Officials

    • New Person

      This idea that pertains to ex-offenders often excludes registrants.

      Remember that “ban the box”? Welp, the registry can still be used against you in some circumstances in acquiring a job.

    • The Outspoken Offender

      Thank you for the Mayor’s contact information. I just emailed her and other city council people.

  3. Jm from WI

    Since there was discussion on recidivism rates, sending them sex offender recidivism rates versus others would be appropriate… Go Mi.

    • Sandy

      This is in response to the person from MI who I believed he stated he no longer qualified for expungement due to a recent law change in MI that made any CSC offense ineligible for expungement. If he was sentenced prior to this law passage it did not apply retroactively. The MI legislators passed another bill that excited everyone because more people with general felony and misdemeanor offenses would qualify for expungement. Then a particular representative who had an axe to grind with the Registry snuck in a clause that no CSC offenses would ever qualify for expungement. It was very sneaky and it passed. It was a huge blow since Registrants thought the only way possible off the Registry was possibly someday through expungement but this did not apply retroactively. So please check it out. Another clause added if you were able to apply for expungement was that you now had to wait 5 years to apply after your probation ended instead of from date of jail release. MI has a mandatory 5 year probation for CSC 4. This added another 5 years before my son could apply for expungement. Good luck.

      • mut

        looks like his minimum term of indentured servitude is 5 years. why not 10 years and who made that decision, a judge or your legislature?
        certainly hope he is fairly compensated for his valuable civil services.

  4. Eric

    “Councilman Steve Wilcoxen said some residents were concerned about sex offenders, but he noted those on the sex offender registry already have limitations in place of where they can live and work.”

    You can really see the learned hysteria towards the person on the registry. No one was concerned about the arsonists who set fires that destroyed thousands of homes and wildlife, nor the meth or crack dealers that have the highest recidivism rate of all convicts, not the armed robber, or habitual domestic violence abuser, nor the person with multiple DUI’s’ but lordy, lordy that person that had sex on their mind at some time in the past…unforgivable.

    • David

      @ Eric: Agreed. Your words are infuriatingly, frustratingly, sickeningly true. ☹️

    • Facts should matter

      @Eric

      The human brain has evolved to focus primarily on so-called “imminent” or immediate threats. The public has been brainwashed in the last 25 years to associate sex offenders with someone that will kidnap, rape and murder at the first opportunity. It has been drilled into their heads! Humans fear the unknown, especially from perceived threats.. but discount threats that are less likely to happen (optimism bias). That is why currently people are fearing the Corona-virus more than they do climate change.

      • R M

        ‘The public has been brainwashed in the last 25 years to associate sex offenders with someone that will kidnap, rape and murder at the first opportunity. It has been drilled into their heads! So true.

        The virus going around is a real threat to humankind.

  5. Facts should matter

    And OF COURSE we’re immune, exempt and insulated from this feel-good initiative. Everyone is trying SO hard to make this world less hateful, vindictive and toxic, but somehow we’re predicatively excluded from that phenomena.

    It all boils down to nobody wants the negative exposure, outrage and backlash from pulling out the first block in this sacrosanct Jenga tower.

    Ugh.

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