Prisoners In Mich. Serve Longer Sentences
June 6, 2012
Report: Prisoners in Mich. serve longer sentences than those in other state
Michigan prisoners released in 2009 served longer sentences than those in other states, costing taxpayers millions of dollars on average, according to a Pew Center report released Wednesday.
On average, Michigan offenders were incarcerated 23 months longer than their counterparts in 1990. Pew estimates the 79 percent increase cost the state $471.9 million, or $53,247 per prisoner annually.
Michigan convicts led the nation in longest overall time served — 4.3 years — followed by Pennsylvania (3.8) and New York (3.6). The national average was 2.9 years.
Pew calculated the cost of longer sentences by multiplying the average cost of one month in prison ($2,343) by the increase in prison sentence from 1990 to 2009 in Michigan (23 months) and multiplied again by the number of prisoners released in 2009 (8,862).
Michigan's budget wasn't the highest because other states had larger prison populations and higher operating costs for prisons.
In 2009, 8,862 Michigan prisoners were released. Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm expanded the state's parole board in 2009 to try to reduce the state's prison population, which had swelled to more than 51,000.
Since 2009, the Department of Corrections has closed six state prisons. Michigan has about 43,800 prisoners in the system.
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