Mass Incarceration

Ingham County prosecutor John Dewane lays out priorities for his new role

Ingham County Prosecutor John Dewane is sixteen days into his tenure because the county prosecutor, having taken workplace at first of the brand new yr.

He was chosen to succeed Carol Siemon, who resignedmidway into her four-year time period. Dewane served as deputy chief of the county’s prosecutor’s workplace for the previous twelve years, working primarily as a murder prosecutor, earlier than being chosen to interchange Siemon.

Dewane’s first order of enterprise: on his first day in workplace, he reversed the previous prosecutor’s felony firearm coverage.

Siemon, who has embraced extra “progressive” insurance policies, set the rule as part of a collection of reforms. Her workplace did so with a purpose to handle mass incarceration and racial fairness selling justice and equity in charging selections and equitable leads to sentencing.

Dewane stated he would not “characterize” himself as a “progressive professionalsecutor.”

Nevertheless, Dewane stated when a case involves his workplace, his assistant prosecutors and him have a look into all its elements and resolve whether or not a criminal offense occurred, what crimes occurred and the way these crimes will be charged.

Dewane additionally introduced it will cost people who’re repeat felony offenders underneath Michigan’s Recurring Offender legislation, which might improve their most publicity to prison or jail time. 

“I used to be on the frontlines of observing gun violence and observing it improve in our group,” Dewane stated. “At this level, gun violence in our nation is at unacceptable ranges. I am dedicated to defending county residents from the upsurge in gun violence.”

Dewane stated he hopes the change in coverage will act as a deterrent to folks possessing and utilizing weapons whereas committing a criminal offense or felony. 

Dewane labored within the county’s district court docket’s household court docket division and circuit court docket. He served as unit chief of each the district and circuit court docket at completely different factors in his profession spanning over twenty-years. 

In his function because the county’s murder prosecutors, Dewane prosecuted a number of homicide circumstances. Most of his authorized expertise is trial work and he has tried over eighty circumstances in the county.

His prime precedence proper now in his new function is gun violence discount. Dewane stated he believes the one manner he can achieve this is by imposing legal guidelines, holding folks accountable and collaborating with legislation implementment.

“The extra weapons we get off the road, the higher and extra protected our public might be and our residents,” Dewane stated.

Dewane stated he works with a nonprofit group, Advance Peace. Based on it is web site, the group describes itself as one which “interrupts gun violence in American city neighborhoods, by offering transformational alternatives to younger males concerned in deadly firearm offenses and putting them in a high-touch, personalised fellowship—the Peacemaker Fellowship.”

“That is an equal a part of working with the group, not simply with legislation enforcement, however with group members who’ve entry to our youth as a result of lots of gun violence is stemming from youthful offenders” Dewane stated.

Alongside gun violence, sexual assault can be high-up on Dewane’s checklist of priorities. He is additionally a proponent of “specialty courts,” which incorporates substance abuse, drug, veteran and psychological well being court docket which individuals with out prolonged legal data may be put into to obtain the instruments they should keep away from incarceration.

“I am right here to implement the legislation and defend victims. I’m a public servant. Being a public servant implies that I must be accessible. I must be out there,” Dewane stated. “Folks want to succeed in out to me, let me know what is going on on — that is an enormous factor being within the job, right here working onerous every single day for the residents of East Lansing.”


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