Pandemic Burden On Correctional Facilities

Covid–19 has impacted all of our lives in some way. However, something we likely don’t think about is how the pandemic has impacted law enforcement and correctional facilities.

Michigan’s correctional facilities have taken significant steps to reduce the number of COVID cases amongst prison populations since start of the pandemic.

Staff at jails, prisons and other correctional facilities across the UP are feeling the effects of the pandemic.

Correctional facilities in statewide have experienced an almost 20% increase in medical costs. Facilities have also had to budget for new administrative costs from changes to food services, transportation & visitation procedures.

In the early days of the pandemic jail transfers stopped immediately but have now resumed with much stricter protocols.

Testing has become a significant new cost because every time a prisoner is moved or taken somewhere for appointments, they must be tested, resulting in thousands of tests each week.

Lawmakers and prosecutors statewide have worked to reduce prison and jail populations but the efforts seems to have not been enough to slow down the spread of the corona virus as incarcerated populations on averages still have higher infection rates than the general public.

Although costs have increased, a positive result of these new COVID procedures is a closer working relationship between lawmakers and law enforcement.