Sunday’s Lansing State Journal column by Judy Putnam discusses the conservative and liberal support for CAPPS’s recommendations; you can thank the author at Jputnam@Lsj.com or comment online.
Judy Putnam: Report offers ways to slim prison ranks
Lansing State Journal | July 11, 2015
“A blueprint on how to reduce the number of prisoners in Michigan has drawn the support of an unlikely pair of organizations. On one side is Progress Michigan, a progressive policy group that hammers the governor for the state’s private prison food contract and is widely viewed as very liberal.
On the other side is the Mackinac Center, a free market think tank that promotes privatization of state services and is widely viewed as very conservative. When those two groups agree on something, well … it’s time to pause and consider why.
In this case, it’s a report by the Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending, on how to safely reduce the state’s $2 billion annual tab for corrections. The report tracks the dramatic rise in incarceration and spending from 1973 to today:
•Michigan’s inmate population grew from 7,900 to more than 43,000.
•Spending on corrections rose from 1.6 percent of the General Fund to 20 percent.
The report spells out two dozen recommendations that could reduce the 43,000-inmate population by 10,000 prisoners over the next five years. That could mean seven fewer prisons and $250 million in savings each year.”