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state prisons

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

You might think of Heidi Washington as the chief of 40,000 people scattered across the state in 30 different camps. Except she has much more power over them than any political leader in this nation has over their constituents.

And her job is not only to take care of her people, but to keep us safe from them. She’s the director of the Michigan Department of Corrections, which is anything but an easy job.

Flickr user spyker3292 / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Last September at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Center near Ionia, an inmate died. He’d been in some kind of confrontation with another prisoner.

Corrections officers used stun guns to subdue 24-year-old Dustin Szot, who was serving time for home invasion. An autopsy listed his death as a homicide due to blunt force trauma. That's according to a recent article by The Detroit Free Press' Paul Egan.