The Genesee County Prosecuting Attorney’s office was well represented this morning by David Leyton and John Potbury, who gave a detailed, enlightening, and disturbing presentation on the recent efforts to “save money” in the state by reducing prison populations.
Michigan’s costs for incarceration are extremely high (averaging $7486/inmate just in health care expense) and we have the highest “prisoners per capita”, so the argument for reduced incarceration might seem to be a good idea. The Prosecutors pointed out, however, that we also continue to have
- (A) the highest violent crime rate in the region,
- (B) the lowest ratio of law enforcement personnel,
- (C) a much lower “clearance rate” for violent crimes than other states,
- (D) 15% fewer prisoners than in 2006 and
- (E) a 20% reduction in full-time Corrections employees.
This has not resulted in a decreased overall cost to the taxpayers, and even though “It’s hard to get convicted for a felony in the State”, 70% of the inmates are in for “assaultive” (compared to 52% in neighboring states) and less than .03% are in for marijuana possession (11 out of 40K inmates).
“Who do we release?” is a serious question, and the Prosecutors office thinks that truancy prevention, after-school programs, protective services family intervention, and early education along with enhanced community policing will be more effective in the long run for lowering prison costs.
President Jack Proffitt called the meeting to order at 7:30, auctioning the Crown to Ken Cullen and presiding over the fines which included one by our Tail-Twister Jack Medemar against President Jack for not wearing a tie(?!). Eric Ballard sold tickets for the 50/50 drawing, won this week by Bob Hentgen. Our only guest (other than our speakers introduced by Peter Venos) was the lovely Abby Schmitt, whose father John Schmitt bought her a breakfast to celebrate her graduation from high school and admission to Delta College. This was the first day of the new breakfast agreement, and it seemed to go well.
DATES TO REMEMBER:
8/20/15 Board Meeting after the breakfast meeting
8/27/15 Quesadillas and Board Meeting at Dave Crabill’s home (in lieu of “steak cookout”)
9/24/15 Installation Banquet at Ruggero’s (Please plan to attend with your significant other!)
Until next time,