Is it a cost or profit center?

Mack-Lemdon, Mr. L.

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7/1/18 Is It a Cost or Profit Center? There is no precise figure for the cost of housing someone in a Michigan prison. The cost vary depending upon the security level, health care needs, programming needs, etc. One of the latest figures I have seen is $38,809.00 per year for a Michigan prisoner. (Some families do not earn this amount per year). Corrections cost the state of Michigan $2 billion per year. There is no way to view that as a profit center. It cost tax payers mightily. The fact that they offset some cost (largely by burdening the poor) does not make it a profit center. Assuming arguendo that the above statement is true, then is corrections a cost and reckless spending center? If so, is somebody, somewhere making a profit? Between 1988-2015, I was in and out of the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) for non-violent behavior. During these stints, I literally witnessed both MDOC employees and prisoners waste tens of thousands of dollars from the wasteful use and abuse of their own materials, to the wasteful spending of constantly housing non-violent, mentally ill substance abusers, to the distribution of drugs and consensual sex. Over these years, if these wasteful figures were compiled the numbers would be staggering. It gets worse. For example, for more than a year, several people made an attempt to get me into intense mental health treatment, especially since I have a more than 30 year well documented history of mental illnesses and substance abuse. Instead the "people of the state of Michigan" denied me the help and on Jan 11, 2018, sentenced me to serve 6 years and 4 months in the MDOC. The reason is because the "People of the state of Michigan" are fixated on this "core belief" that incarceration is the answer, the God and the solution for all criminal behavior. But is it? Or is it a waste? Let's assume that between 1988-2015, the cost to house a prisoner was $20,000.00. let's further assume that I spent only 13 of these years incarcerated. The total cost, $260,000.00 (1/4 million dollars). Within those 13 years, the MDOC recommended various programs. I completed everyone of them including programs that were not recommended, some more than once. However, there was one program that I did not or could not complete and that was intense mental health treatment. That is because the MDOC did not offer that program then, nor does the MDOC offer it now. Afterall, the MDOC is "supposedly" a "corrections" agency, not a mental health agency. It is now 2018, the cost to house a prisoner is presumably $38,809.00. As stated earlier, I was sentenced to 6 years and 4 months. 6 X $38,809.00 = $232,854. (another 1/4 million dollars). Waste 6 years also equals 2,190 days or 52,560 hours. Due to not having any recommendations, that will address my real problems and traumas, I will sit in this corruptive warehouse watching what your eyes would not believe or mind can conceive. For $232,854, at tax payers expense of course, I have been subjected to the prison life again: T.V.'s, exercise, video games, cards, weights, fundraisers, stores, gym, shoot pool, e-mails, sex with women, homosexuality, J-Pays, nudity, medical corruption, staff corruption, and plenty of drugs. (Just to name a few). Reckless and wasteful spending. By 2024, the prison state of Michigan will have spent somewhere between 1/2 million dollars to 3/4 million dollars on me and still haven't provided me with the help I need. Therefore, I wrote the Governor of the state of Michigan and requested $300,000.00. Undoubtedly, you may think this to be ridiculous, however, if the state of Michigan can liberally waste nearly a million dollars without results, then this request isn't as far fetched as one may deem it to be, especially since I have proposed to spend it quite differently than the $232,854.00 that's presently being wasted. For example, the largest portion of these requested funds would go towards getting help through intense outpatient mental health treatment. According to MDOC sources, the estimated cost would be between $50,000 and $75,000.00. An estimated $25,000.00 of these funds would go towards restitution, court costs, fines, fees, medical and institutional cost. The remainder would go towards rebuilding my life. This plan described is using a 1/4 million dollars wisely, however, I have not heard from the Governor and suspect I never will. Maybe I am simply a fall guy for the cost and reckless spending and not the one who is suppose to profit from it all. Matter of fact, in my humble opinion, any person, agency or organization that is working with or worth $2 billion, that's big. It's big, big business. Its cost and profit at the whole states expense. (My opinion)

Author: Mack-Lemdon, Mr. L.

Author Location: Michigan

Date: July 1, 2018

Genre: Essay

Extent: 4 pages

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