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Michigan Supreme Court Holds Convicted Prisoner Entitled to Pre-Trial Jail Time Credit

On July 27, 2021, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled en banc that pre-trial detainees are entitled to jail time credit if they were unable to make bond except for jail time served after a parole revocation warrant issued.

Erick R. Allen was on parole for crimes he was convicted of in 2013. He was arrested on July 12, 2015 for possession of less than 25 grams of cocaine. The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) did not issue a detainer so he was released on a personal recognizance (PR) bond. He missed two court dates and was jailed on a $5,000 bond on August 17, 2017. Unable to raise bond, the court released him on August 31, 2017 so he could attend a drug rehabilitation program.

Allen brought drugs with him to the program and was arrested September 5, 2017. MDOC issued a parole revocation warrant that day. He remained in jail through trial and sentencing on March 1, 2018. Because he was on parole the entire time, the trial judge decided he was not entitled to pre-trial jail time credit. He spent 17 days in jail before MDOC issued a detainer for him and 178 days thereafter until he was sentenced.

The jail time credit issue was appealed. The appeals court denied credit based on People v. Idziak, 484 Mich. 549 (2009), where the state’s supreme court analyzed circumstances for jail time credit granted or denied based on instances of parole detainers being issued or not. Under Idziak, the court held Allen had no jail time credit entitlement, including the 17 days before MDOC issued the detainer. See: People v. Allen, 330 Mich. App. 116 (2019).
Although no objection was made to preserve this issue for review, the Michigan Supreme Court accepted it as plain error. As to jail time credit, the court ruled Allen was entitled by mandatory statute MCL 769.11(b) to credit for the 17 days he spent up to the point that the detainer was issued. It was when notice of possible parole revocation emerged that he became detained for a reason other than inability to make bond, and then jail time credit eligibility ceased. See: People v. Allen, 2021 Mich. LEXIS 1305.

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Related legal case

People v. Allen