- Associated Press - Saturday, July 18, 2015

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A new national group focused on criminal justice issues is prioritizing Michigan as a state where it will pursue changes.

The U.S. Justice Action Network was formed this week and includes prominent advocacy groups on the right and left including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Faith & Freedom Coalition.

Advocates are combining forces to seek “sweeping” criminal justice changes designed to contain costs.

Republican House Speaker Kevin Cotter is applauding the nonprofit’s formation and says he looks forward to finding ways to ease prisoners’ re-entry into society and improve their employment outlook.

The ACLU of Michigan and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy say it’s time to explore “overcriminalization” and overcrowded prisons.

Gov. Rick Snyder outlined ideas in the spring and plans to push legislative changes this fall.

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