Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

 

 

 

Substance Abuse Treatment

$1,475,000[56]

All from GF/GP

Program Description:

This program funds substance abuse rehabilitation programs to prisoners in the Michigan penal system.

Recommended Action:

Historically, the most effective substance abuse programs have been privately sponsored, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Teen Challenge. And according to Department director Kenneth L. McGinnis, programs of this type are being utilized by the MDOC.

While other MDOC staff provide substance abuse education programs aimed at eradicating misuse and motivating the abuser for treatment, private licensed contract agencies are employed to treat the substance dependent prisoners. Alcoholics Anonymous and other volunteer self help organizations are recruited to complement the education and treatment programs.

In addition to private treatment agencies, the self help program is the most available and utilized intervention. Each month approximately 2,000 volunteers assist about 6.000 prisoners. In addition, health and housing staff conduce self help or AA programs for prisoners. MDOC staff also provide a 12 session weekly substance abuse education program to approximately 700 prisoners each month.[57]

The Department of Corrections should be commended for encouraging a civil society approach to the problem of inmate substance abuse. It should not stop, however, at simply contracting out for the provision of services. The Department should fully replace state funded programs with private volunteer organizations. Where such private assistance is lacking, the Department should redouble its efforts to inform community organizations of the needs, and not resort to state subsidies.

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

 

 

 

Prisoner Rehabilitation and

$1,367,100[58]

All from GF/GP

Education Programs

 

 

Program Description:

This program funds the costs incurred for the provision of associate's and bachelor's degree programs for prisoners in the Michigan penal system. Although these programs were offered initially only at male facilities, a legal challenge resulted in their being required at all facilities, either as part of a federal consent decree or by court order. The Department of Corrections has petitioned the federal court to allow the department to discontinue college programming at four male facilities and replace the programming with basic education programs, utilizing the same funding.

Recommended Action:

While not possible under current legal rulings, the state should seek aggressively to be released from the court mandates and eliminate funding for college level programs for prisoners. The provision of college education to prisoners is simply not a responsibility of the MDOC.