LANSING — State Representative Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) sent a formal request today to the chairmen of the House Oversight and Ethics Committee and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Corrections asking for a joint hearing on the Sept. 10 disturbance at the Kinross Correctional Facility. According to multiple reports, an entire housing unit was shut down and there was severe property damage. Emergency response teams had to be brought in to help restore order.
“I think it’s our duty to investigate this disturbance to better understand what happened and get to the bottom of conflicting reports from the Department of Corrections and the representatives of the corrections officers,” said Yanez. “I hope that House Oversight and Ethics Committee Chairman Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) and House Appropriations Subcommittee on Corrections Chairman Dave Pagel (R-Oronoko Township) share my concern for our prisons and the safety of their staff and corrections officers.”
Yanez pointed out that Kinross had problems earlier in the year regarding prisoner complaints about food in March and gang-related violence in July. Complaints about food have been prevalent even after the state switched food service providers from Aramark to Trinity Services Group, private for-profit companies.
“It’s our moral and ethical duty to investigate and make sure that our corrections officers and other employees are properly trained, as well as to ensure that we are ready to handle multi-institution demonstrations should that ever occur,” said Yanez. “Prisons are a dangerous place to work, but we still need to take steps to make sure that the employees who do this dangerous job are as safe as they can be so they can go home to their families at the end of their shift.”