Corrections Director: Escape Not Related To Budget Cuts

Feb 13, 2014

Michigan’s top prison official says state budget cuts had nothing to do with the recent escape of a murderer from a prison in Ionia. Michigan Department of Corrections Director Dan Heyns testified about the escape today in front of a state Senate budget panel.

Michigan Department of Corrections Director Dan Heyns testifies in front of a state Senate budget panel Thursday on a recent prisoner escape in Ionia.
Credit Jake Neher

“I would submit to you that the funding was there, the equipment was there,” he says. “If it was maintained and monitored properly, it would have detected the escapee before he left the prison grounds – and the policy and procedure was well written and complete.”

Heyns says prison employees would have caught the prisoner who escaped if they would have been doing their jobs.

The prisoner was apprehended in Indiana a day later.

The Department of Corrections and the state attorney general’s office are investigating the escape separately. But Democrats in Lansing say neither can be trusted to be impartial about the case. They say Republicans are not likely to blame the escape on budget cuts that Republican lawmakers approved.