Senate moves to ban inmates from having items of their victims

LANSING — Michigan inmates would be banned from having trophies of their crimes under legislation approved by the Michigan Senate Thursday, said Sen. Joe Hune.

Senate Bill 645 would prohibit prisoners from receiving or possessing any item that belongs or belonged to a victim of a crime they are incarcerated for, or any photograph, drawing or other visual image of their victim.

“The thought of a convicted criminal having a keepsake of their victim is extremely disturbing,” said Hune, R-Hamburg Township. “Prisoners should not be allowed to keep photographs of their victims while incarcerated. This bill needs to be on the books as soon as possible.”

The measure was introduced after a victim’s family discovered a Michigan Department of Corrections prisoner, convicted of a sexual offense, had pictures of his victims in his cell.

The family asked for the photographs to be removed and they were informed that the prison could not do so without a court order.

SB 645 will now advance to the House of Representatives for further consideration.