Prison escape brings recent budget cuts into question

The issue of security remains up for discussion within state government following the escape of convicted murderer Michael David Elliot from the Ionia Correctional Facility this past week.

Officials are currently investigating the situation and intend to issue a report, which aims to find out exactly what happened and where the prison system failed in containing Elliot.

Authorities noticed Elliot missing at around 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 2, according to a statement from Michigan State Police.

Police later found Elliot in LaPorte County, Ind., on the West side of the state close to the Michigan-Indiana border.

Elliot is serving four life sentences after being convicted in 1994 of killing four people. He has maintained his innocence throughout his incarceration.

Police found Elliot after he reportedly stole a 2004 Jeep Liberty and abducted a woman in the process.

Prison officials have said they believe Elliot was acting alone and said he was a good inmate without behavioral problems.

Both sides are chiming in on the debate, as some House Republicans are pointing budget cuts likely are not to blame. According to Ari Alder, Press Secretary for Speaker of the House Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, said prison escapes are not any less likely to occur when the budget fluctuates.

Rep. Fred Durhal Jr., D-Detroit, asked the question of whether or not perimeter security was going to be part of the new budget proposal during Wednesday’s presentation of the Executive Budget Recommendation, which caused some brief tension during the meeting.

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