Budgets includes funding for supports for corrections officers, courts, and several innovative programs to improve programming and reentry opportunities for justice-involved Michiganders
LANSING, Mich. (May 9, 2023) — Sen. Sue Shink (D-Northfield Twp) and the Michigan Senate voted today to pass its first set of budget bills, including the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) and Judiciary budgets, Senate Bills 191 and 192. As Chair of the Corrections and Judiciary Appropriations Subcommittee, and as an attorney herself, Sen. Shink helped craft budgets that balances the needs of the state’s courts and prisons as well as those of justice-involved individuals and their families as they work toward rehabilitation.
“The MDOC and Judiciary budgets, as with all the budgets my Senate Democratic colleagues and I are moving, are about how we can help people,” said Sen. Shink. “The MDOC budget includes funding to improve the working conditions for COs in Jackson in my district and in facilities around the state to help with retention and attraction and stem the turnover challenges in the industry. And it also creates some new, innovative programs and investments to ensure that when incarcerated people are released, they have the tools they need to reduce recidivism, saving money for the state while improving the lives of these individuals and their families.”
Some highlights of the MDOC budget include:
- Additional Funding for Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). This proposal would establish four prison sites and hiring approximately 78 full-time employees to administer MAT for substance use disorders, with each site having the capacity to treat up to 400 patients.
- Money to Create a Pilot Program with Nation Outside. This would create a statewide peer-led reentry program for prisoners, establish industry standards for peer mentoring focused on reentry, and create economic mobility for formerly incarcerated people.
- Funding for Mama’s Mobile Milk. This investment would support a community approach to maternal/infant separation by providing a human milk delivery program when mother/infant are separated due to NICU hospitalization, temporary foster care, custodial issues, and incarceration.
- Additional Funding for Employee Wellness to be used for post-traumatic stress outreach, treating mental health issues, peer–support programs, and providing mental health programming for MDOC staff.
- Funding to Create Pilot Program with Eastern Michigan University and Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility to help encourage and support incarcerated women to pursue bachelor’s degrees and improve their future financial and professional prospects.
The proposed Judiciary budget also includes a number of significant investments to support the courts and improve their processes. The budget continues to address juvenile resentencing needs by providing additional funding and a new youth defense unit to assist juveniles who are unable to afford an attorney. The budget builds upon the efforts of the court system to become more efficient and just in their performance and invests in efforts to bring the case management system and our courts into the 21st Century.
“The Judiciary budget responds directly to the needs of the court system itself and the judges, attorneys, clerks and more who use it to modernize the system and make it more efficient and user-friendly. We also provide money to follow some of the recommendations of advocates and stakeholders to better support justice-involved juveniles,” Shink said.
Today’s passage of the MDOC, Judiciary and other budget bills by the full Senate marks the culmination of months of work and a turning point in the budget process. The proposed budgets will continue to be negotiated with the House and governor’s office to reach final funding decisions.