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Michigan

Michigan policymakers have struggled for the last decade to get a handle on corrections spending in the midst of a deteriorating economic climate. As unemployment rates increased and state revenues declined, state spending on corrections grew considerably. Between FY1998 and FY2008, state general fund spending on corrections increased 57 percent from $1.26 billion to $1.99 billion, and by FY2007 accounted for 22.6 percent of state general fund expenditures.[i] Spending on corrections is such a large share of the state budget that in 2008, one in three state employees worked for the Michigan Department of Corrections.[ii]

Despite this significant expenditure of taxpayer resources in the correction system, violent crime rates in Michigan remained too high. The state’s violent crime rate, the highest in the Great Lakes regions, remained unchanged between 2000 and 2007, while the national rate experienced an 8 percent decline.[iii]

In 2009, bipartisan leadership led to the closure of eight unneeded prisons over the protests of the corrections guards union.[iv] This saved $120 million. Moreover, as Michigan consolidates and downsizes its prison system, it is using approximately one-third of the savings in community-based supervision, sanctions, and treatment strategies that hold offenders accountable.

In 2009, the index crime rate in Michigan per 100,000 residents fell to its lowest point since 1965.[v]


[i] Council of State Governments Justice Center, Justice Reinvestment Michigan Profile, http://justicereinvestment.org/states/michigan.

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] David Eggert, “Michigan announces closure of 8 prison facilities, “ 5 June 2009, The Mining Journal, http://www.miningjournal.net/page/content.detail/id/528353.html.

[v] Michigan Crime Rates, http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/micrime.htm.

Right on Crime Applauds Michigan Governor for Reducing Barriers to Reentry

Right on Crime | September 7, 2018
Austin, TX — Today, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder will sign an executive directive to prevent state departments from using a check box on job applications to ask applicants if…

With Gov. Snyder’s Signature, Forfeiture Reform Comes to the Wolverine State

Michael Haugen | October 21, 2015
An important first step in providing Michigan citizens increased property protections was accomplished yesterday afternoon, as Gov. Rick Snyder signed a package of civil asset forfeiture reform bills into…

Craig DeRoche on Michigan’s Disproportionate Sentencing in the Detroit News

Right on Crime | September 5, 2014
Writing in the Detroit News, president of Justice Fellowship, former speaker of the House in Michigan, and Right on Crime signatory Craig DeRoche tackles his home state’s record on…

“Texas conservatives to Michigan: Follow our lead and cut prison funding now”

Right on Crime | April 15, 2014
Marc Levin and Derek Cohen in MLive: “Though their weather is very different, Michigan and Texas share many similarities. Geography and size notwithstanding, both states have a sizeable conservative…

The Mackinac Center: ‘Not So Criminal Minds’

Right on Crime | December 12, 2013
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy authored a piece on overcriminalization titled “People Who Do Not Knowingly Commit Crimes” There are thousands of federal laws and many more coming from the…

“Forfeiture In Michigan”

Right on Crime | October 21, 2013
Michigan Capitol Confidential: Bipartisan House bill would bring transparency to law enforcement seizing property without criminal charges. Read the whole story here.

Improving Law Enforcement in Detroit

Right on Crime | August 1, 2013
You wouldn’t know it by tuning into your local news, but the notorious crime epidemic of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s appears to have passed. Property crime and homicide…

Michigan Provides More Avenues for Rehabilitated Juveniles

Right on Crime | January 7, 2013
Some juveniles who commit delinquent acts truly learn from their actions and are able to turn their lives around. For juveniles who have reached this level of rehabilitation, it…

Crime, Workforce, and Economic Development

Right on Crime | October 18, 2012
In a recent poll, Detroit residents pegged crime as their biggest concern. This bucks the national trend of Americans worrying less and less about safety as crime rates drop.…

Michigan Considers Swift & Sure Sanctions

Right on Crime | October 10, 2012
In an effort to more effectively supervise probationers and parolees, Michigan is looking to Hawaii for answers. Specifically, the HOPE Court, founded in Hawaii in 2005, provides swift and…

Encouraging New CSG Report on Declining Recidivism in 7 States

Right on Crime | September 25, 2012
This morning, the Council of State Governments Justice Center released an encouraging new report on declining recidivism rates. The report examined the 2005 and 2007 recidivism rates in seven…

Community Based Re-Entry in Detroit and Cleveland

Right on Crime | July 10, 2012
One of the most important and fundamental aspects of an effective criminal justice system is proper reentry that ensures public safety is protected while successfully transitioning an offender from…
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