Michigan Corrections Director: Ionia Prison Escape “Had Nothing To Do With” Budget Cuts

Feb 13, 2014

The head of the state’s prison system blames a murderer’s recent escape from an Ionia prison largely on human error.

Michigan Department of Corrections Director Dan Heyns testifies in front of a state Senate budget panel Thursday on a recent prisoner escape in Ionia.
Credit Jake Neher MPRN

That prisoner was caught in Indiana the day after he escaped.

We have more from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher.

Democrats want to know whether budget cuts had a role in the escape.

But Michigan Department of Corrections Director Dan Heyns told a state Senate budget panel the prison had all the resources, equipment, and procedures it needed to prevent the escape. He says the blame falls on him and his department – not on the governor and state lawmakers.

“I think it’s safe to say that the root causes of this escape had nothing to do with budget cuts,” he says.  “The funding was there.”

Heyns says he can’t do into detail about just what the failures were until the department and the state attorney general’s office finish their investigations.