Mich. DOC Says Budget Not Responsible For Elliot's Escape - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Mich. DOC Says Budget Not Responsible For Michael Elliot's Prison Escape

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(WLNS) - The Director of Michigan's Department of Corrections fielded questions from lawmakers in the State Senate Thursday.

He stayed relatively composed as he was drilled with how and why Elliot was able to break out of the Ionia Correctional Facility on Feb. 2.

 

Elliot was found a day after his break in Indiana after taking one woman hostage.

More from 6 News: Escaped Prisoner Michael Elliot Caught In Indiana  

 

"I have never accepted the notion that an escape is acceptable. I have a zero tolerance policy," said Daniel Heyns, the director of the Michigan Department of Corrections.

 

He said couldn't get into details about the escape, fearing it may embolden other prisoners to do the same, but defended his suspension of two prison employees and said human error and equipment failure played a role.

"If it was monitored and maintained properly, it would've detected the escapee before he left the prison grounds," he said.

Some lawmakers have said prison budget cuts were to blame, but Heyns said the budget was not an issue at all, in fact according to House Fiscal Agency report, the budget for the Ionia Prison actually increased each of the past three years.

Senator John Proos, chair of the corrections appropriations, lead the questioning.

"My role and responsibility is not only the budget, but oversight of that budget and valuing the taxpayer dollars for the best benefit of public safety," said Sen. Proos. However, he says he's still waiting for the DOC and the attorney general's office to finish ther investigation. Attorney General Bill Schuette asked the corrections department not to release its findings until Schuette's investigation is complete.

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