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Bills To Allow Parole For Medically Frail Inmates Adopted By MI House


Some Michigan prison inmates who are serving sentences of life without parole could be released to nursing homes under bills approved Tuesday by the Michigan House of Representatives. Capitol Correspondent Rick Pluta reported.

Lawmakers were told care for elderly and very sick inmates is expensive for taxpayers, yet these are prisoners who no longer pose a risk. 

Chris Gowtz is with the Michigan Department of Corrections. He said there are currently 20 to 40 inmates who are old or sick enough to potentially qualify for medical parole. 

Gowtz said, “We’re not sending anyone out into the community, into a nursing home that’s a threat to anyone else.”

He said some nursing home operators have expressed interest in taking in former lifers. 

Those serving time for rape or first-degree murder would not be eligible for medical parole.              

Governor Whitmer supports the legislation.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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