In February, the Michigan Department of Corrections began an internal audit of about 70,000 current parolees and probationers in an effort to crack down on non-compliance. The state has had a recent wave of notorious crimes by convicted criminals who were under the state's supervision. As expected, the review revealed significant supervision issues. As a result, five agents were suspended because of homicides their parolees committed while they were supposed to be under the agent's supervision.
In the Detroit metro area, jails are running out of beds for inmates. The state prison population has already increased by 1,000 inmates since the beginning of the year. This is due to increased enforcement of parole violations.
This crackdown is bringing with it increasing costs stemming from transporting alleged violators, housing them and paying for additional officers to secure them. There is no definitive number on the costs, but Department spokesman Russ Marlin explains that the agency has already used a significant portion of its annual budget on these additional costs.
It is not difficult for parolees or probationers to violate the terms of their arrangement with the State. They can be arrested for failing to check in with their assigned agents and failing to report an address change. In addition, parolees and probationers can be arrested if they do not go to work. These individuals will be sent to jail if they commit another crime.
There are 20,000 parolees living in the Detroit metro area. With the crackdown on parole violations, many of the suspected violators are being put into jails in Detroit, making the jails search for an estimated 400 to 500 extra places for the inmates to sleep. While the growing inmate population is posing a challenge to administrators, it is unlikely to deter the efforts to review and enforce the terms of probation and parole for those yet to be addressed.
Michigan parolees and probationers faced with an alleged violation should contact a criminal defense attorney to make sure that their legal rights are protected.