During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan’s prison population has dropped 5.2%.
This has tempted legislators into possibly closing another prison, as the state struggles to close a multibillion dollar budget gap.
The state’s prison population normally sits around 38,000.
Due to COVID-19, it’s just under 36,000.
MDOC legislative liaison Kyle Kaminski recently told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Corrections that they would not support reducing prison capacity.
Kaminski went on to point out the reasons for the decline in prisoners, which included accelerated parole reviews, fewer parolees being returned to prison for technical violations, and a sharp decline in prisoner intakes from county jails and courts, which he said makes up half of the recent decline.
Once the pandemic is over, and things return to normal, Kaminski sees the prison population once again rising to around 38,000.
To date, MDOC states 68 prisoners have died from COVID-19, while 3,944 have tested positive.
At one point, Michigan ranked 1st in COVID-19 prison deaths.
So far, Michigan is only one of two states, which has tested every prisoner for COVID-19.