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Michigan Department of Corrections

ID gap makes streets meaner for ex-cons

GRAND RAPIDS — Jeff Lowery figured it was going to be a tough road as he left state prison in late February, hoping to find work and housing. But without proper identification, he feared it would be impossible: “There is nothing you […]

Read Ted Roelofs's article

Guest column: Prison savings to reach $250 million

By Daniel Heyns/Michigan Department of Corrections I know for the past several years the Center for Michigan has been an active participant in the dialogue surrounding lowering corrections costs in Michigan. The Center facilitated the creation of the Corrections Reform Coalition — […]

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Guard knows danger lurks inside prison walls, but still loves his job

Five weeks into his new job as a corrections officer at a state prison, Robert McGaffigan received a horrific lesson on the dangers of the work. Tammy Sperle was a civilian worker who operated the prison store at what was then the […]

Read Zach Gorchow's article

Pew study says Michigan spends cash it doesn’t have to on prisons

Michigan almost doubled the average time behind bars for its prisoners between 1990 and 2009, says a new study by the Pew Center on the States released Wednesday. While the trend mirrored a national one, Michigan’s practices on longer incarceration for all […]

Read Derek Melot's article

Cost of ‘4 strikes’ plan drops, still means millions more for prisons

When Attorney General Bill Schuette first proposed his “4 strikes and you’re out” plan for repeat felons, the Michigan Department of Corrections said the additional costs to the prison system could exceed $1 billion per year by the middle of the 21st […]

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Guest column: Real truth in sentencing could save really big prison dollars

By Richard Stapleton/Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending Ultimately, the least expensive prisoner is one who isn’t there. While the prison population has dropped by about 8,000 over the last five years, the Michigan Department of Corrections’ projections anticipate no further […]

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Senate panel backs prison cuts

A month ago, CFM President John Bebow urged the Senate subcommittee overseeing prison spending to take pruning shears to the governor’s proposal for 2013 to spend about $2 billion on the Michigan Department of Corrections. “(C)ontinued re-engineering of the prison system in […]

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Guest column: Cut prison costs the smart way

By Barbara R. Levine/Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending Legislators agree we should spend less on corrections, but are reluctant to make the fundamental choices — like reinstating the sentencing commission, reforming parole practices and restoring sentencing credits — that could safely […]

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Of cons and condiments: Prisons cut costs in dimes and dollars

The state Department of Corrections will cut back on patrols outside its prison walls and change the job classifications of some corrections officers next month to save an estimated $25 million a year. But the head of the union representing the nearly […]

Read Pat Shellenbarger's article

Are private prisons Mich.’s cost savior?

Michigan has shrunk its prison population by more than 7,000 inmates since 2006. Nevertheless, the state’s prison system continues to consume more than 20 percent of the state’s general fund budget. Now, some legislators are considering whether shipping some of the state’s […]

Read Pat Shellenbarger's article

With a sober eye, a conservative reconsiders

Craig DeRoche concedes there were times during his six years in the Michigan Legislature, including his years as speaker of the House, that he wanted to speak out against the conventional wisdom that sending more people to prison was the proper response […]

Read Pat Shellenbarger's article

Shifting prison politics: How GOP is getting smarter on crime

Prison reform — once considered a ticket out of office for politicians — is spreading around the country, and in some unlikely places. In many states, the efforts to reduce prison populations are being led by “law-and-order” Republicans. In 2011, half of […]

Read Ron French's article

An unlikely advocate for review of Michigan prison sentences

Joe Haveman is about the last person in the State Capitol you’d expect to advocate for softer prison sentences. The 50-year-old Holland native is a conservative Republican legislator from a conservative Republican district, the kind of pedigree associated with the attitude of […]

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Capitol conundrum: Fewer inmates, same high costs

Round numbers can provoke course corrections because they are easier to understand and, if large enough, shock the system. Here are a couple: 50,000 and $2 billion. The first is the inmate population barrier breached at the Michigan Department of Corrections in […]

Read Peter Luke's article

AG office offers details on ‘4 strikes’ thinking

As readers of this post know, Attorney General Bill Schuette’s proposal to add a “four strikes” provision to Michigan sentencing law has folks in Lansing doing some quick calculations on what this would mean for prisons and prison costs. Today, Rusty Hills […]

Read Derek Melot's article

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