89.1 WEMU

Michigan Department of Corrections

Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

An effective food system in the state’s prisons should go beyond just feeding prisoners.  That’s the message of some lawmakers in the state Senate.

Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The state House has adopted bills that would allow prisoners in advanced stages of illness, including cancer and dementia to be paroled for medical reasons.

uusc4all / flickr.com

The Michigan Department of Corrections defended its plans to change how it feeds prisoners.  Department officials testified Wednesday in front of a Senate committee.  The state wants to end its use of private vendors for food services.

Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Michigan has a growing number of inmates who are elderly, terminally ill, or otherwise medically frail.  There is an effort underway to allow many of those felons to be released. 

Rick Snyder
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Experts in mental health and criminal justice were in Lansing Tuesday as part of Governor Rick Snyder’s efforts to overhaul both systems – and help people struggling with addiction, unemployment, and, sometimes, criminal behavior.   

Courtesy of the Michigan Department of Corrections

Police have charged a suspect they believe is responsible for a series of incidents involving racist graffiti on Eastern Michigan University’s campus last year.

Union Powers Limited After State Board Vote

Sep 21, 2017
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

A state board voted yesterday to restrict state employee’s collective bargaining power.  Ahead of the meeting, hundreds of union workers gathered to protest.  

Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

State spending plans are moving swiftly through the legislature.  A number were voted on last week, many of them with deep cuts from what the governor asked for.  

Corrections Budget Battle Heats Up In Lansing

May 16, 2017
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Some state lawmakers and the Michigan Department of Corrections are battling it out over how much the state should spend on its prisons.  

Food Conditions Still Issue In Michigan’s Prisons

May 12, 2017
Food Tray
uusc4all / flickr.com

Michigan’s prisons are still plagued with food service problems.  That’s according to liberal watchdog group Progress Michigan

Criminal Justice Bills Headed For Snyder’s Desk

Mar 10, 2017
Michigan House of Representatives
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Michigan is on its way toward sweeping changes in its criminal justice system.  The State House passed a large package of legislation Wednesday. 

Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

A federal lawsuit claims state prison guards joked and made a bet on whether an inmate would try to kill herself before she took her own life.  

Courtesy Photo / vinelink.com

Michigan crime victims will soon have an easier time keeping track of offenders. 

Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility
Courtesy Photo / michigan.gov

The US Justice Department is suing the Michigan Department of Corrections for discriminating against women who work at its only prison for female inmates, which happens to be in Washtenaw County. 

Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Two prisons would close under a plan adopted by a state Senate budget subcommittee

Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

A new audit says Michigan corrections workers failed to document the time they spent transporting prisoners. 


State corrections officials are preparing for a wave of drug offenders entering the system for getting caught with heroin and other narcotics. 

Public Domain


Prisoner advocates say inmates at the Huron Valley Women’s Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti are living in overcrowded conditions.

wikimedia commons

Aramark will boost pay, staffing & training to help fix prison food problems

The private company that manages food services in state prisons has agreed to hire more people and improve wages and training.

It's part of an effort to fix the state's problem-plagued agreement with Aramark. Those troubles include food shortages, high staff turnover, intimate contact between Aramark employees and inmates, and drug smuggling. A food services worker is suspected now of trying to hire an inmate to arrange a murder.


Audit finds problems with prisoner education programs in Michigan

wikimedia commons

AG prison report cites human, technology errors as prime cause of inmate escape

A report by the Michigan Attorney General's office has found both human and technology failures played a part in the prison escape of a convicted murderer.

Michael Elliot slipped out of the Ionia Correctional Facility last February 2 by crawling under fences during a heavy snowfall. He wore white clothes to blend into the snow. He was captured about 24 hours later in Indiana.

wikimedia commons

Snyder: Prison food contract troubles are "unacceptable"

Governor Rick Snyder says a deal with a private contractor to provide food for state prisons could be terminated if there are future problems with the company. Aramark Food Services was awarded the $145 million, three-year contract last December. But the arrangement has been beset by problems since then.

Aramark has been fined by the state for unapproved menu changes and running out of food. Also, 70 Aramark employees are banned from state prisons for inappropriate relationships with prisoners.

wikimedia commons

Michigan Supreme Court names workgroup to improve system for collecting fines

A group of judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys goes to work Thursday on finding new and better ways to collect fines and fees from defendants, and to ensure that people are not sent to jail because they don't have the money to pay.


MI Supreme Court says governor cannot un-commute life sentence

The Michigan Supreme Court says a governor cannot take back a decision to commute a prison sentence once the papers are signed and filed.

Matthew Makowski helped plan the robbery of a co-worker in 1988, but was not there when the attempt went awry and Pietro Puma was stabbed to death. Makowski was convicted of first-degree murder for his role in the killing and sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole, the mandatory sentence.

Michigan Public Radio Network

MI corrections director: Ionia prison escape "had nothing to do with" budget cuts
By Jake Neher

The head of the state's prison system blames a murderer's recent escape from an Ionia prison largely on human error. That prisoner escaped earlier this month, and was caught in Indiana the next day.