By Rob St. Mary, WDET
The future of corrections spending in Michigan was the topic of discussion Friday at the Mackinac Policy Conference.
At a cost of two-billion dollars annually, Michigan's Department of Corrections consumes about 20 percent of the state's budget. Policy and criminal justice minds met at the Detroit Regional Chamber conference on Mackinac Island to discuss ways of saving money.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says the best way is to focus more efforts at the root causes of crime like youth education, illiteracy and mental illness.
"We're talking about illiteracy, we're talking about truancy. Truancy is probably one of the biggest issues when it comes to juvenile delinquency. Truancy is huge. But people don't want to talk about spending money in those truancy programs. If we can get people in school we can correct some of the issues," Worthy says.
About 44,000 inmates are housed in Michigan's prisons.