Press Release: Senator Proos’ Corrections Budget Puts Officers, Prisoners, and Community at Risk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Michigan Corrections Organization

May 16, 2017

Contact: Anita Lloyd, 517-485-3310 ext. 121, anita@mco-seiu.org

Senator Proos’ Corrections Budget Puts Officers, Prisoners and Community at Risk

Proos continues to play politics with the safety of Michigan citizens

LANSING — The Michigan Corrections Organization (MCO) is calling foul on the budget proposed by Senator John Proos to fund the Michigan Department of Corrections. Proos’ numbers are significantly lower than the budget proposed by the House and, if enacted, would jeopardize the safety of prisoners, corrections officers, and the public.

“These unrealistic figures that Senator Proos has proposed are dangerous and reckless,” said Andy Potter, vice president at the Michigan Corrections Organization. “While we may not always agree, we feel the Governor, Representative Dave Pagel and the MDOC have put together a budget that is fiscally responsible while giving our members the tools to do what we do – keep our prisons and communities safe.”

Proos is basing his numbers on a simple proposition that there are fewer inmates in the prison system. He fails to see that his proposed cuts directly put the crosshairs on programs that help reduce recidivism. In addition, MCO agrees with the Department of Corrections that there are not enough beds across the prison system to close another prison and believes cramming more prisoners in facilities they are not designed to handle could have deadly consequences.

“The programs that our officers administer are there to ensure that when inmates are released that they are less likely to commit another offense,” Potter continued. “We urge Senator Proos to consider the real world effect of these cuts and come to the table with an attitude that the safety of our corrections officers, the inmates, and the people in our communities should come first. We look forward to continuing the conversation, but Senator Proos must be willing to listen to corrections experts if we are ever going to truly transform the MDOC.”

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Michigan Corrections Organization/SEIU represents more than 6,500 corrections and forensic officers working at state prisons and at the Center for Forensic Psychiatry.

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