Senate panel makes major cuts to Corrections budget
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI –
Michigan Senate Republicans say the Department of Corrections could save tens of millions of dollars by making sure all prisoners are parole-eligible as soon as they have served their minimum sentences.
Republican state Senator John Proos says that means making sure prisoners have taken their necessary prisoner reentry programs in time for their parole hearings.
"Are they getting the proper education so they can be eligible for parole at their earliest release date?," he asks. "The longer we keep somebody past earliest release date, the most costly it is to us."
Proos says additional savings can be found in the department by privatizing food services and mental health services for prisoners. Proos chairs the Senate panel that oversees the Department of Corrections budget. The panel approved a spending plan that is well below Governor Rick Snyder's proposal.