The website Governing discusses the consequences of a tough economy on the operation of prisons. The article includes changes in Michigan:
he United States today is arguably the most incarcerated society in human history. Some 3.2 percent of the adult population is in the correction system — either incarcerated or on probation, parole or some other form of supervision, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The cost of operating prisons is one of the fastest growing areas in state budgets. Since 1990, state corrections costs have increased about 7.5 percent a year, according to the National Governors Association. In 1972, state inmate populations were about 175,000. Today, they stand at an astounding 1.4 million.
Michigan was hard hit by the economic downturn. In response, since 2007 Michigan has reduced its inmate population by more than 10 percent. “This reduction has come about largely by reducing the number of inmates who serve more than 100% of their minimum sentence, decreasing parole revocation rates, and enhanced reentry planning and supervision through the Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative,” according to the Pew report.