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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.

Sentencing Serious Juvenile Offenders

Right on Crime | June 14, 2012
An interesting new report released on Michigan juvenile offenders reveals that most states do not use juvenile life-without-parole (“JLWOP”) sentencing. The few that do use it, however, use it…

Criag DeRoche’s Radio Interview with Tony Conley

Right on Crime | June 13, 2012
This morning, Craig DeRoche, the former Speaker of the Michigan House and a signatory to the Right On Crime Statement of Principles, discussed Right On Crime on the Tony…

Bridge Magazine Highlights Conservative Leadership on Corrections

Right on Crime | March 14, 2012
Bridge Magazine, a publication from the Center on Michigan, is in the middle of a month-long series analyzing the recent rise in the number of conservative legislators who are…

Using Incarceration to Solve a Contract Dispute in Michigan?

Right on Crime | February 20, 2012
Eight years ago, the transportation department for the state of Michigan contracted with a bridge and construction company called Ambassador Bridge to work on a throughway between Michigan and…

Truth-Telling from Some Michigan Inmates

Right on Crime | January 18, 2012
In a correctional facility in Detroit, once a month, hardened adult inmates do something rather rare: sit quietly in a circle and discuss their lives with complete strangers. Those…

Protectionism and Overcriminalization in Michigan

Right on Crime | December 27, 2011
In 2008, Michigan passed a law requiring all high-volume beverage manufacturers to imprint a unique logo on any cans and bottles sold in the state because Michigan takes part…

New Report on Strategies for Changing Juvenile Justice

Right on Crime | October 5, 2011
Last week, two researchers with the John Jay College of Criminal Justice released a report that offers a comprehensive overview and evaluation of the various juvenile justice reform techniques…

Michigan Parole Reforms Showing Significant Success

Right on Crime | July 1, 2011
In 2003, Michigan launched its Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initative (MPRI), and it has since seen very promising results. The recidivism rate of persons paroled through MPRI has dropped to…

Could Privatizing Michigan Prisons Light a Competitive Spark Throughout the Entire State?

Right on Crime | November 1, 2010
This testimony from Jack McHugh of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a few years old, but it's worth reading... Read more
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