A Michigan Department of Corrections’ crackdown on parole absconders after high-profile crimes by state-supervised convicts has created a shortage in temporary bed space in Detroit, reports the Detroit News. With half of the state’s 20,000 parolees living in the Detroit area, corrections officials are searching for 400-500 beds to house those suspected of violating the terms of their parole.
The state’s predicament comes as the legislature is close to finalizing the Corrections Department budget for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. The House calls for closing a prison and opening a privately run facility while the Senate is looking for millions in savings through wholesale job cuts while not closing any facilities. Michigan’s prison population, which stood at 43,859 as of Friday, has increased by about 1,000 since the beginning of the year because of parolees going back to prison, a decline in the number of people being paroled and a slight increase in court-ordered prison sentences. Without temporary bed space, the department is unable to get parole absconders off the streets.