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August 03, 1998 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1998-08-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Monday, August 3, 1996 - The-Michigan Daily - 3
Engler signs bills on
dOmestic violence

By Jeffrey Kosseff
Daily Staff Reporter
MACKINAC ISLAND -Aiming to
prevent tragedies similar to last year's
murder of LSA senior Tamara
Williams, Gov. John Engler signed into
law a series of bills intended to toughen
punishments for violent crimes and
stop domestic violence.
"This may be the most important
criminal legislation ever," Engler said
last Thursday. "We're slamming the
door on violent criminals."
Williams was murdered by her
boyfriend last September in Northwood
Family Housing. She had reported pre-
vious incidents of domestic violence.
Under Engler's legislation, anyone who
reports domestic violence will receive
equal protection, regardless of whether
they are married, and penalties are
increased for the perpetrators. Under pre-
vious statutes, unmarried victims of
domestic violence received little protec-
tion.
Spurred by domestic violence inci-
dents statewide, including the Williams
murder, Engler has also increased fund-
ing to train prosecutors and police offi-
cers in domestic violence counseling
and to start a domestic violence preven-
tion advertising campaign.
The extension of protection to
unmarried victims, Engler said, is simi-
lar to the University's Sexual Assault
Prevention and Awareness Center poli-
cies on domestic violence.
"We have made amajor impact on pre-
venting domestic violence' Engler said.
The domestic violence legislation is
one of many criminal justice reforms
signed into law by Engler during this
legislative session. In the 1999 fiscal

.year budget, Engler increased funding
to construct new prisons.
"We should be ina position to make
sure all of the most dangerous criminals
are in prison," Engler said to members of
the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of
Michigan at its annual conference.
Engler has been criticized by members
of the University community for increas-
ing higher education funding by only 2.3
percent this year while increasing fund-
ing for construction of new prisons.
"We live in a very competitive envi-
ronment in higher education," said
University President Lee Bollinger at the
Regents' meeting last month, when
tuition was raised by 3.9 percent because
of the low state funding increase.
Engler said his administration has
increased university funding 30 percent
over the past eight years, and crime
fighting is an area in dire need of money.
"Don't buy the argument that the
criminal justice system is soaking up all
the resources," Engler said.
As part of his crime-fighting plan,
Engler has also instituted a truth-in-
sentencing law, which prevents convict-
ed criminals from receiving parole
before their sentence is complete.
"Five years will mean five years, and
10 years will mean 10 years,' Engler
said. "They're prisoners. They leave
when we say they can leave."
Although crime in Michigan has
decreased steadily over the last six years
and the state's crime rate is at a 30-year
low, Engler said he hopes the state will
continue to pass crime-fighting bills.
"The legislation is helpful, but the
problem has not been solved," Engler
said. "There's still too much available
for the nightly news."

DANIEL O'DONNELL/Daily
Evelyn Livingston walks with her daugther-in-iaw Laura Livingston on William Street yesterday. "I have lots of friends" in
Grand Rapids, Evelyn says. "It makes me happy to be able to visit my son and daughter-in-law at their new home."
Study finds retirees happier
wihfriends-than withmoney

By Dante Mastri
Daily Staff Reporter
Earnings from work and increased
free time may not ensure happiness
for people moving from the work
force into retirement, according to a
University study.
Alicia Tarnowski, a second year
Rackham student, and Toni
Antonucci, a senior researcher at the
University Institute for Social
Research, analyzed how factors such
as physical health, income and num-
ber of negative life events, including
divorce and death of a spouse, influ-
ence the changes in life satisfaction
reported by retirees.
The study revealed that social sup-
port, not the size of the person's wal-
let or state of physical health, was the
most important predictor of life satis-
faction following retirement.
"I looked into the financial aspects
to see if it was feasible, and then I
asked people how they handled retire-
ment," said Burghard Linn, a
Brighton resident and recent retiree.
Linn stressed the importance of
having other activities to focus on
after retirement, but relationships
with people drew him back to work.
"The interaction with people
was the reason why I needed to
work, at least part time," Linn
said. "I can keep my hands in
something, but I can control the
amount of time and pressure."
The University study supports
Linn's thought on the importance of
human relationships when retiring.
"Retirement is a major life tran-

sition," Tarnowski said. "And I
wanted to see how people handled
it most successfully."
Tarnowski and Antonucci found
that people moving from the work
force to retirement appreciate sup-
port from their friends more than
money and other factors.
"Our findings suggest that new
retirees may need more emotional
support than they did when they were
working," Tarnowski said.
Tarnowski analyzed pre-existing
data collected by Antonucci and ISR
psychologist Robert Kahn.
The original data, collected in 1980
and 1984, was designed to look at the
social lives of older people.
"Initially, I was interested in transi-
tions that people make later in life,"
Antonucci said. "The original study
was designed to examine social sup-
port for older people."
Tarnowski found that the data
would be useful in answering a differ-
ent research question regarding the
transition into retirement. Tarnowski
and Antonucci studied the data with
an entirely different focus.
Antonucci described
Tarnowski's research question and
data analysis as "a nice, unique,
and creative approach for using
the (previously collected) data."
With the original study, "we were
,able to help establish norms for social
relations for older people, but very
little was done with retirement,"
Antonucci said.
"It's a very important question
because retirement was a different

kind of experience," Antonucci said.
Changes in life satisfaction are
common following the transition to
retirement.
"I was interested in the transitions
that people make later in life'
Tarnowski said.
Tarnowski said she is pleased with
the conclusions she was able to draw
about the importance of social net-
works when people retire. "It's not an
unexpected finding, and the data was
very clear," Tarnowski said.
Antonucci said he was impressed
by the findings and added that "it's
always nice when you find support
for a hypothesis."
The researchers said they consid-
ered the findings important because
the study can help people think about
what will foster them through retire-
ment.
"Retirement was a different kind of
experience in the past, and now there
is a potential for 20 years of retire-
ment;" Antonucci said.
Tamowski said he hopes that the
study will underscore the importance
of personal relationships.
"Just having a number of people
who will provide emotional support,
listen to your concerns and let you
know you're still important right after
you retire seems to make a big differ-
ence," Tarnowski said.
Human interaction is an important
elementthat can help ease the transition.
"Instead of medication, we want
people to use natural elements in
their environments to be happy,"
Tarnowski said.

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