Michigan has a growing number of inmates who are elderly, terminally ill, or otherwise medically frail. As we hear from Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta, there is an effort underway to allow many of those felons to be released.
The state Department of Corrections says taxpayers spend millions of dollars on medical care for frail or dying inmates who no longer pose a risk to the public, but are not eligible for parole.
But bills before the Legislature would allow felons who require advanced medical care to be paroled to a nursing home.
Chris Gautz is with the Michigan Department of Corrections.
“Prison is not the best place to receive health care.” He says.
Gautz says there are 100 to 150 inmates who require constant monitoring, dialysis, or other expensive treatments that would be less expensive in a nursing home setting.
Right now, only Governor Rick Snyder has the authority to commute sentences for medical reasons.