department of corrections http://michiganradio.org en 2 Michigan prison workers suspended after escape http://michiganradio.org/post/2-michigan-prison-workers-suspended-after-escape <p>IONIA, Mich. (AP) - Two employees have been suspended at a western Michigan prison where a convicted killer escaped for 24 hours.<br /><br />Corrections Department spokesman Russ Marlan says one is an officer and the other is a shift commander. He declined to provide their names or any other details but says the suspensions are related to the investigation at the Ionia Correctional Facility.<br /><br />Michael Elliot escaped last Sunday and left the state in a Jeep that belonged to a Belding woman. She got away later that night. Elliot was captured Monday in northwestern Indiana. Sat, 08 Feb 2014 15:23:00 +0000 The Associated Press 16360 at http://michiganradio.org 2 Michigan prison workers suspended after escape Snyder administration to cut program that has saved hundreds of millions in prison costs http://michiganradio.org/post/snyder-administration-cut-program-has-saved-hundreds-millions-prison-costs <p></p><p></p><p>The State of Michigan spends a huge part of its budget on prisons. In recent years a new program has helped reduce the prison population and helped prisoners stay out of prison. Despite its success, the state plans to cut much of the program’s funding.</p><p>Some people who’ve been in and out of prison are getting out and staying out thanks to a program called Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative or MPRI.</p><p>“After 33 years of doing time, they finally got it right. And today I’ve got a life. I own my own business. I’m living the American dream and it started at MPRI,” Harry Hampton said.</p><p>Hampton has been in prison four times. When he’s been released before, he got no help. Mon, 09 Sep 2013 17:30:57 +0000 Lester Graham 14335 at http://michiganradio.org Snyder administration to cut program that has saved hundreds of millions in prison costs Michigan considers sentencing guidelines changes http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-considers-sentencing-guidelines-changes <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder are considering changes to prison sentencing guidelines that were last updated about 15 years ago.<br><br>The Detroit News reports the idea is driven in part by a desire to reduce the state Department of Corrections budget, which exceeds $2 billion.<br><br>A state sentencing guidelines study was launched last month by the bipartisan Michigan Law Review Commission.<br><br>Corrections Director Dan Heyns has advocated for a review of state sentencing guidelines. He endorsed the review, which likely will take about 18 months.<br> Mon, 08 Jul 2013 10:56:48 +0000 The Associated Press 13409 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan considers sentencing guidelines changes Lawsuit claims flaws in Michigan's parole system http://michiganradio.org/post/lawsuit-claims-flaws-michigans-parole-system <p>A lawsuit filed this week alleges the state Department of Corrections has been too lax in supervising roughly 18,000 paroled felons in Michigan.</p><p>The lawsuit was first reported by The Detroit Free Press.</p><p>It was filed by the family of an elderly Royal Oak woman who was murdered in her home. Two fugitives on parole have been charged with the killing.</p> Wed, 17 Oct 2012 21:35:01 +0000 Rick Pluta 9507 at http://michiganradio.org Lawsuit claims flaws in Michigan's parole system Report: More Michigan ex-cons killing after leaving prison http://michiganradio.org/post/report-more-michigan-ex-cons-killing-after-leaving-prison <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - More and more Michigan ex-cons are killing people after they leave prison, a problem that the state Department of Corrections and its employees union blame on each other.<br><br> The<a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20120930/NEWS06/309300022/Lax-controls-leave-ex-cons-free-to-kill?odyssey=tab|topnews|img|FRONTPAGE"> Detroit Free Pres</a>s says 88 probationers or parolees committed 95 homicides in 2010 through Aug. 31, 2012. Ex-cons under state supervision killed 21 people in 2010, 38 in 2012 and 36 in the first eight months of 2012.<br> Sun, 30 Sep 2012 19:30:01 +0000 The Associated Press 9302 at http://michiganradio.org Report: More Michigan ex-cons killing after leaving prison Commentary: Push to privatize some prison services http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-push-privatize-some-prison-services <p><font color="#000000" face="Arial" id="role_document" size="2"><font size="4"><font size="4"><font size="4">Reporters were caught off base yesterday when they learned that Governor Rick Snyder was not in Lansing as they thought, but in Afghanistan, visiting the troops. The secrecy was understandably needed for security reasons, and the trip is the sort of morale-boosting thing that governors and other state officials traditionally do.</font></font></font></font></p> Thu, 19 Apr 2012 14:52:08 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 7104 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Push to privatize some prison services Michigan mandated inmate DNA tests leading police to suspects quicker than expected http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-mandated-inmate-dna-tests-leading-police-suspects-quicker-expected <p>A&nbsp;<a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(bk2qtf45feh1pl455jaxod55))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&amp;objectName=2011-SB-0346">new&nbsp;state law</a> that mandates inmates give DNA samples is helping police solve dozens of cold cases.</p><p>Since the mid 90s, all inmates have had to give DNA samples when they exit prisons and jails in Michigan. They could volunteer the DNA before they were released, but they didn&rsquo;t have to.</p><p>&ldquo;Obviously when someone refuses to give a sample, something&rsquo;s up,&rdquo; Michigan State Police Captain Greg Michaud said.</p> Fri, 09 Mar 2012 21:49:07 +0000 Lindsey Smith 6580 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan mandated inmate DNA tests leading police to suspects quicker than expected State politics and public safety http://michiganradio.org/post/state-politics-and-public-safety <p>Gov. Rick Snyder delivered a special address on public safety this week. His plan calls for fighting crime in some of the state&rsquo;s most violent cities.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/governor-snyder-outlines-plan-fight-crime-michigan">34 point plan</a> includes hiring 180 additional state troopers, increasing staffing at crime labs, decreasing urban blight, and linking welfare benefits to school attendance.</p> Thu, 08 Mar 2012 22:02:32 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 6561 at http://michiganradio.org State politics and public safety Mental health advocates blast prison drug policy http://michiganradio.org/post/mental-health-advocates-blast-prison-drug-policy <p>A coalition of mental health advocates is calling on the state Department of Corrections to alter its policy of moving as many prisoners as possible from brand-name prescriptions to generic drugs.</p><p>The Department says the new policy will save taxpayers&rsquo; money without endangering prisoners&rsquo; health.</p><p>The Mental Health/Justice Coalition says the policy is too sweeping when it comes to inmates with mental illnesses. The Coalition includes inmates&rsquo; families, psychiatrists, judges, and attorneys.</p><p>Peggy Christian is the mother of an inmate:</p> Thu, 21 Apr 2011 20:39:54 +0000 Rick Pluta 2176 at http://michiganradio.org Mental health advocates blast prison drug policy Report: Psychotropic drugs "dominating" cost of prescriptions in prisons http://michiganradio.org/post/report-psychotropic-drugs-dominating-cost-prescriptions-prisons <p>The state&#39;s prison system is in line for some budget cuts like a lot of other parts of the state government.</p><p>Now, a recent audit says the prison system could save more in prescription costs.</p><p>From the Associated Press:</p><blockquote><p>DETROIT (AP) - State auditors say Michigan could have saved millions of dollars by choosing lower-cost alternatives to a mental-health drug that is widely prescribed in prisons.</p><p>The audit released Friday says psychotropic drugs are dominating the cost of prescriptions in the prison system. They added up to more than $8 million from January through July last year - 41 percent of all pharmaceuticals.</p><p>Seroquel is the most prescribed antipsychotic drug. Auditors say the Corrections Department could have saved $350,000 a month by switching just half of those prescriptions to a drug called Risperdal.</p><p>The Corrections Department says it&#39;s taking steps to control costs. The audit also found that prisoners are not being charged for over-the-counter medicine even if they can afford it. Fri, 11 Mar 2011 18:44:33 +0000 Mark Brush 1611 at http://michiganradio.org Report: Psychotropic drugs "dominating" cost of prescriptions in prisons