New Executive Orders pause evictions, aim to protect incarcerated populations

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Posted at 9:34 PM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 22:30:03-04

LANSING, Mich. — Executive Orders signed by Governor Whitmer aim to protect Michiganders facing eviction and the state's incarcerated populations.

“These orders will ensure that we can continue to flatten the curve, avoid a second wave of infection, and protect the heroes serving on the front lines of this crisis.” Whitmer said in a press release Thursday.

According to EO 2020-118, evictions are suspended until June 30th and lifts certain statutory restrictions. Rent is still due as agreed upon in your lease or rental contract, but no one can be evicted unless they pose a threat to a person or property.

EO 2020-119 extends protections already in place for populations of jails and detention centers until July 9th. Corrections officials will have "more flexibility" when considering release of an inmate who is not a threat to public safety. It also suspends some capacity requirements and procedures described in the County Jail Overcrowding Act.

"While this order is in effect, all actions that would be authorized under the CJOA in the event of a declaration of a county jail overcrowding state of emergency are authorized and shall remain authorized without regard to any reduction in jail population or any other such limitations on the duration of authorization imposed by the CJOA." EO 2020-119 reads.

Early release of some individuals determined to pose no risk to public safety is recommended including for the medically compromised, anyone in jail for traffic violations, failure to appear or failure to pay, and anyone with behavioral health issues "who can safely be diverted for treatment."

All transfers are suspended under EO 2020-119 beginning 7 days from the effective date of the order (June 11th) without Michigan Department of Corrections approval.

Juvenile detention centers are encouraged to reduce the risk of spread through their populations, as well. Juveniles should not be placed in a center or residential facility unless they are an immediate safety risk to others and they must haveaccess to family, education, and legal counsel through phone or video conference at no cost. Facilities must also communicate resources available to their populations and remove anyone showing symptoms of the virus. The order also suspends the use of "out-of-home confinement for technical violations of probation and any requirements for in-person meetings with probation officers"

“By extending the protection against eviction for non-payment we can ensure that COVID-19-infected individuals and vulnerable populations can isolate in the safety of their homes while continuing to protect incarcerated persons in our prisons, jails, and juvenile detention centers,” Whitmer said. Under EO 2020-119 there will be no transfers into and from Michigan Department of Corrections facilities unless the jail meets standards for risk-reduction.