Bouchard: Gitmo prisoners a ‘no-go’ for MichiganPublished 8:18am Thursday, August 20, 2009
Mike Bouchard, Republican candidate for governor, traveled Wednesday from Oakland County to the Standish Maximum Correctional Facility, where he was joined by Tom Kirrens, chief steward of the Michigan Correctional Organization, to discuss current efforts to potentially use the prison to house Guantanamo Bay terrorists.
“First and foremost, we should not be releasing career criminals from our prisons back into our communities. Second, Michigan should not become the destination for the nation’s criminals and terrorists; that will not address our state’s long-term problems,” Bouchard said.
Bouchard offered up ideas that would help close the estimated $120 million budget gap that closing prisons around the state would supposedly yield.
“In Oakland County (where he was sheriff), we privatized the jail food service, which saves taxpayers over $1.6 million a year. If our leaders in Lansing took the same approach we could save an estimated $40 million a year,” Bouchard said. “Those savings would help us keep our criminals in prison, not put them back out onto our streets.
“Michigan leads the Midwest in violent crime today and dumping another 1,700 career criminals back on the streets of the state with the highest unemployment rate will lead to obvious results. People have been focused on the wrong part of this picture and debate. Standish should keep its Michigan felons in the first place.
Standing with Kirrens in Standish, Bouchard further railed against the potential of bringing terrorists into Michigan while we empty our prisons.
“This idea is short-sighted and dangerous.”