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    Tag: Prisons

    Union Questionaire Draws Attention

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 09:27:02 AM EST
    Tags: SEIU, MCO, Michigan, Prisons, Policy, Politics, Partisanship, Mackinac Center (all tags)

    A posting I had here a few days ago poked fun at the SEIU Corrections unit (MCO) questionnaire that attempted to identify the core political allegiance of its membership.  It drew the attention of the Mackinac Center's Paul Kearsey, who asks a more important question than I had in my post.

    What about Policy?

    Kearsey opines:

    "The interesting and at the same time sobering thing about this is how SEIU leaders see their members through a strictly partisan political lens. The space that the union used to gauge the strength of its members' partisan leanings are (Are you sorta Republican, really Republican, or really, really Republican?) could just as easily been used to find out how worried their members are about losing their pensions in a state bankruptcy, or whether or not work rules negotiated by the union made prisons safer or a host of other questions having to do with what MCO members really want their union to do."

    Leave it to the smart guys to make my point.

    Comments >>

    German Specialists For Our Prisons

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 09:35:54 AM EST
    Tags: April Fools, Prisons, German Specialists, Prisoners, Trainers, Enforcement, Budgets, Snyder, Bureau of Prisons (all tags)

    Many of you have heard the prison guard commercials on the radio.  "The most dangerous job in Michigan" they exclaim.  No doubt, in the environment of reduced revenues by state government, there has been a real concern that the prisons will also feel the pinch from the legislature, and the governor's best efforts at balancing our state checkbook.  They know that reinvention can touch all areas of government, and that innovation will affect them in a big way.

    They apparently are quite correct.

    The Michigan department of corrections had been directed by the Snyder administration to develop a means in which prisoners can "self serve in the prison environment." Wasting no time in trying to help the embattled governor balance the budget, the bureau of prisons has answered with a method that allows the limited supervision provided by a single supervisor and several dozen highly trained specialists; German Specialists

    Not the type of specialist you might expect however..  

    Below we go..

    (2 comments, 434 words in story) Full Story

    A Message To Our Legislators - Beware False Choices

    John Cherry's Michigan: Turning the Great Lakes State into a penal colony

    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Tue Jun 30, 2009 at 07:42:29 AM EST
    Tags: Granholm-Cherry, 2010, Cherry, Granholm, DOC, Marlan, prisons, MSP, troopers, penal colony, triangle project (all tags)

    What universe am I living in?  Did I fall asleep and wake up on some other plane of existence?  Am I awake at all?  Is this all nothing but a really bizarre bureaucratic nightmare?

    Serious questions created by a serious bit of... pure, unadulterated lunacy... coming out of the Granholm-Cherry administration.  Yesterday 100 state police troopers lost their jobs on orders from the Governor and her 2010 Gubernatorial candidate.  Last week Lansing Democrats fought to keep alive the administration's dream for a new, inefficient, hundred million dollar state police headquarters that the state police don't want.  Meanwhile, this year alone, 3,500 dangerous convicted felons are being released EARLY from prison and set loose in Michigan neighborhoods.

    So what's a state to do with fewer cops walking the beat, more law enforcement dollars swallowed up paying to provide pet projects (and big paydays) to Democratic donors / developers and a sudden spike in the number of dangerous career criminals prowling the streets?

    Import more criminals.  From California.  

    Import.  Criminals.  From California.

    Who came up with this idea, Lex Luthor?  Norman Osborn?  The Joker?  No, no and, well...

    According to Booth Newspapers, this one is the brainchild of the Granholm-Cherry team.  

    California has too many prisoners and Michigan soon will have too many empty prison cells.

    Therein lies the possibility of a "mutually beneficial partnership," Gov. Jennifer Granholm told Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in a letter Monday...

    In her letter, Granholm referenced earlier conversations with Schwarzenegger in which she said Michigan "could be of help."

    Granholm said she was "certain that Michigan can provide a safe and secure environment for prisoners and help prepare them for a return to California and a crime-free lifestyle."

    What's worse, this can't even be chocked up as an outside-the-box scheme to generate extra revenue for the state.  According to Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan, "we're not looking to make any money off this."  

    Marlan said in regards to the California offer, Michigan would be seeking mainly to recover labor, food and health care costs.

    Maybe we shouldn't be surprised.  The administration has already crippled our economy, swelled the ranks of the unemployed to record levels, put a nearly unbearable strain on the state's social services and grown the size of the Lansing bureaucracy to astronomical proportions (the budget has grown by nearly $6 billion since Granholm and Cherry took their oaths of office in January 2003).  Suppose it was only a matter of time before they tried turning Michigan into a penal colony.

    Plus, look at it this way... importing hardened criminals is ONE way of countering the dramatic outbound population flight we've seen the last six years.  Better yet, unlike hardworking Michigan families who've just plain had enough, Californian prisoners couldn't leave, even if they wanted to.

    (6 comments) Comments >>

    Rep. Arlan Meekhof discusses the closing of 8 prisons

    By arlanmeekhof, Section Multimedia
    Posted on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 01:43:56 PM EST
    Tags: Arlan Meekhof, Meekhof, prisons (all tags)

    (8 comments) Comments >>

    State Losing Money Having Prisoners Manufacture License Plates

    By steve, Section News
    Posted on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 07:12:08 PM EST
    Tags: prisons, manufacturing, State Of Michigan (all tags)

    cross posted @ motorcitytimes.com

    (106 words in story) Full Story

    Granholm: Budget Cuts For Areas Of State Responsiblity

    By steve, Section News
    Posted on Sat Jun 06, 2009 at 05:47:37 PM EST
    Tags: Granholm, prisons, budget cuts (all tags)

    It's too predicable. Granholm is closing eight of the states prisons because there is no budget.

    (3 comments, 182 words in story) Full Story

    Granholm: Budget Cuts For Areas Of State Responsiblity

    By steve, Section Multimedia
    Posted on Sat Jun 06, 2009 at 05:46:51 PM EST
    Tags: Granholm, prisons, budget cuts (all tags)

    It's too predicable. Granholm is closing eight of the states prisons because there is no budget.

    (182 words in story) Full Story

    Making it Tougher for Michigan's College Students

    By The Wizard of Laws, Section Multimedia
    Posted on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 10:48:53 AM EST
    Tags: Alma Wheeler Smith, prisons, scholarships, universities (all tags)

    Cross-posted in The Wizard of Laws

    Elected representatives ordinarily can be expected to advocate on behalf of their local constituents. Once in a while, they even rise above local politics to work on something that will benefit a broader area, such as the county, the region, or the state they serve.

    Then there are those politicians who, inexplicably, do stupid things that do not benefit anyone.

    Say hello to Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith, a Democrat from Washtenaw County. On June 3, she introduced a bill into the Michigan House of Representatives that is so ocntrary to common sense that merely to state its content is to ridicule it.

    First, a little background. The Michigan Competitive Scholarship program awards scholarships to students pursuing their first degrees at approved Michigan postsecondary institutions. Students must demonstrate both financial need and merit, and eligible applicants must achieve a qualifying ACT score prior to entering ocllege. The scholarships are awarded to three or more students in each legislative district.

    Good idea, right? Helps kids who need the money and have demonstrated the ability to succeed in college. What could be more appropriate?

    Rep. Smith obviously has a different idea. On June 3, she introduced HB 5039, which would prohibit any Michigan competitive scholarship from being awarded this year or at any time in the future. Why? What could possibly justify this move? I called Rep. Smith's office to ask, but there was no answer.

    With the economy reeling, we need to make sure our foundations are sound. Our taxing and spending has to create and foster an entrepreneurial environment, and our educational system must encourage performance at a high level for all our citizens.

    The Michigan competitive scholarship is a small part of the education effort, but it sends an important signal -- we are committed to helping those who need the help but who have also demonstrated the ability. Perhaps Rep. Smith objects to the merit requirement? We may never know, but that would be consistent with another change she proposed, one which really makes no sense.

    The current law denies scholarship funds to persons who are incarcerated. HB 5039 takes this away, such that persons residing in our state prisons would be eligible for the scholarships. This is bad, but it's also nonsensical since the same bill eliminates the scholarships altogether, so why make prisoners eligible for them?

    What puts the frosting on the cake is the fact that Rep. Smith's district includes Eastern Michigan University (The Wiz's undergraduate alma mater). Why would someone representing a university introduce a bill to eliminate college scholarships for financially needy, well-deserving students? Who benefits from this bill?

    HB 5039, where the nonsensical meets the inexplicable.

    Comments >>

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