Free Press Praises MI Prison Boss For Reducing Inmate Population


In an editorial, the Detroit Free Press praises Michigan Corrections Director Patricia Caruso for her leadership in reducing the state’s prison population. Caruso “has taken a lot of criticism, especially from prosecutors, about higher parole rates and other efforts to reduce Michigan’s bloated prison system,” the paper said. “But Caruso and her department have, rightly, earned praise from corrections officials around the country.”

The editorial continues, “The reason: Michigan’s prison population (now 46,400) has dropped by 5,000 in the last 2 1/2 years, while crime and prison recidivism rates have gone down, despite the worst economy since the Great Depression. Michigan is one of the few states closing prisons instead of building them…With each inmate costing the state nearly $35,000 a year, Michigan can do a lot more, including reforming sentencing guidelines to divert more offenders from prison, improving re-entry programs, and paroling more of the roughly 10,000 inmates who have already served their minimum sentences. The state still spends nearly $2 billion a year on corrections and is one of only four states that spend more on prisons that higher education.”

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