Democrats Want to Know if Budget Cuts Led to Prison Escape
State democrats to ask today for a formal investigation into whether budget cuts made under the Snyder administration contributed to a mass killer's escape from prison.
They want to know if cuts to perimeter security measures--including the guard tower--may have allowed for Michael David Elliot to make his escape February 2nd from the Ionia Correctional Facility. Elliot, who was serving life sentences for four murders back in the 1990's, was being held in a medium security area of the prison due to good behavior.
According to an exclusive interview in the The Detroit Free Press, Elliot said he made his escape by identifying the least secured area of the prison, pretending to out there to excercise, then diving into the snow for cover and to hide from prison guards. The paper is also reporting that Elliot outlined specifcs of the escape. He says he broke through one of two fences by using a belt to cut through it. A motion detector, set up to sense any inmates in restricted areas, apparently didn't work.
Governor Snyder has already asked State Attorney General Bill Schuette to investigate what went wrong, but democrats want their own probe.
Corrections Department officials have said they don't believe the break was made easier by lack of prison manpower.