Granholm says corrections overspending is Legislature's fault
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm says Michigan still has too many prisons and is keeping too many inmates locked up for too long. And, she says, that is forcing the state Department of Corrections to exceed its budget by millions of dollars.
The state budget office tells the Legislature that corrections will likely go more than $46 million over-budget this year. That will force the administration to ask for more spending as lawmakers try to erase a $300 million budget shortfall.
Governor Granholm says the Legislature has refused to adopt her cost-savings ideas such as making it easier to parole inmates, and restoring credits that reduce sentences for prisoners who behave well.
"The bottom line is either the Legislature acts or we will not be able to continue to afford the system that we've got," Granholm says. "Somehow, something has got to give."
The governor says shorter sentences and fewer prisons will bring Michigan's corrections costs closer to what other states spend.
Republicans say there are other ways to save money that would pose less danger to the public than releasing more inmates.