Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm will take another shot at scaling back the state prison population this year and she intends to shift cost savings into law enforcement and education, reports the Detroit News. Asked how she intends to save the $200 million on budget cuts and reforms she proposed in her State of the State address this week, Granholm said: “Corrections is a big piece. Are there people in the system who can be released in a cost-effective and safe way? Yes there are.” She noted that Michigan state has a larger per-capita inmate count than other midwestern states and it hasn’t brought down the crime rate.
The governor called for diversion of some inmates into mental health treatment and into tether programs for nonviolent offenders. “Part of the savings should be placed into increasing law enforcement and education,” said Granholm, who proposed Tuesday putting 100 more state police troopers on the streets. The recruit school would cost $7.3 million. Granholm called last year for the diversion of some nonviolent offenders and the release of terminally ill inmates. Republican legislators have been reluctant to release convicted felons for fear that they’ll commit new crimes. Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings has said many crimes, including violent offenses, are committed by parolees serving time for nonviolent crimes.