Last week, the governor signed off on a FY 2020-2021 corrections budget that totals approximately $2.06 billion. This includes $13.9 million for training new custody staff. This budget contains boilerplate language directing the MDOC to recruit and train an additional 700 corrections officers. Unfortunately, one of the outcomes of the budget will be the closure of the Detroit Reentry Center, reflecting a net $12.3 million in savings.
Other key items within the budget are:
- Wage Increase – The budget includes appropriations to cover the salary and wage increases (2% on October 1, 2020 and 1% on April 4, 2021.), that were negotiated by the union
- Pre-shift – The budget includes $5.6 million to cover the employee related costs the reinstatement of pre-shift line-up meetings, starting Oct. 1
- Employee Wellness Enhancements – There is $500,000 allocated for employee wellness resources and support services
- Training Facility – The budget includes money to refurbish the Green Oak Facility and finish converting it into a training academy.
- PTSD Outreach and Employee Wellness – Boilerplate language has been revised providing $50,000 to be used for PTSD outreach and wellness programming. The MDOC is required to work with MCO and department employees to determine strategies and implementation.
- Facility Closure, Consolidation, Relocation Notification – There is boilerplate language requiring the MDOC to provide the legislature, senate and house fiscal agencies, corrections ombudsman, and state budget office at least one month notice prior to the effective date of closures, consolidations, or relocations of any correctional facility in the state
- Community Investment – The budget has intent language stating that the department consult with the legislature and other appropriate state agencies to develop framework to provide investment in communities that have formerly operational facilities that have been closed.
This budget was the product of three weeks of negotiations between legislative leaders and the governor. The COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the economic uncertainty and competitive 2020 election year, created pressure, resulting in an unconventional budget process this year. The budget has no cuts to schools, higher education, or local governments.