Lawmakers Could Set Limit On Number Of Inmates In Michigan Prisons

Apr 25, 2014

One Michigan legislator wants to put a limit on the number of inmates in state-run prisons.

As The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, supporters say it could save the state tens of millions of dollars.

State Senator John Proos introduced the legislation this week. It would require the Michigan Department of Corrections to keep the number of inmates in its prisons under 38,000. Right now, that number is about 44,000.

Proos says many inmates could go to local county jails or private facilities.

“Our counties are already doing it,” he says.  “They’re doing it in a way that saves the taxpayers money. They’re doing it safely.”

The Michigan Sheriffs’ Association says county jails don’t have enough space to handle that many prisoners. And a prison watchdog group says jails aren’t equipped to house long-term inmates or provide rehabilitative services.