Rep. Runestad: Michigan saves public tax dollars by being smarter on crime

Categories: Runestad News

State Rep. Jim Runestad, chair of the House Judiciary Committee and member of the Michigan Criminal Justice Policy Commission, today applauded law enforcement and court officials across the state who have worked hard in recent years to take a smarter approach to crime.

As a result, Michigan’s prison population has hit a 20-year low, allowing for the closure of the West Shoreline Correctional facility in Muskegon Heights, the Michigan Department of Corrections announced today.

“Law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges and corrections officials have worked together to become smarter on crime, allowing public tax dollars to be spent more efficiently,” Runestad said. “Specialty court programs, improved treatment initiatives and prisoner vocational programs have all helped reduce the number of repeat offenders and improve public safety.”

West Shoreline’s closing is expected to save taxpayers $18.8 million in the state’s fiscal year 2019 budget.

In 2017, the state’s prison population dropped to below 40,000 for the first time in more than 20 years. Michigan’s prison population peaked in March 2007 when it stood at 51,554.

Since 2005, the department has closed and consolidated 26 facilities and camps, which has resulted in nearly $400 million in budget reductions.