LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Michigan corrections officers are growing tired of working in understaffed prisons and jails, and they are imploring Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to activate the National Guard to fill the gaps.

Byron Osborn, President of Michigan Corrections Organization sent a letter to Whitmer last week and asked her administration to take “immediate action to address the dangerous working conditions that have persisted and worsened throughout your time as governor.”

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Rep. Kathy Schmaltz (R-Jackson) told The Steve Gruber Show on Tuesday that within the past six years, Michigan’s corrections systems has seen a net loss of 2,000 corrections officers.

“We have a real problem,” Schmaltz said. “The Michigan Corrections Organization says there are 5,500 officers overseeing nearly 33,000 felons at 26 facilities. Nearly half of our prisons have 20% to 30% vacancies.” Schmaltz continued, “They need more people, but the state sure isn’t helping them.”

Schmaltz took aim at the newly passed state budget. She said it took last year’s $12 million allotted for retention and bonuses and axed it this year. She said one of things she hears from corrections officers when she visits them at the prisons is “work on our retirement plan.” Now there are bills moving through the Michigan House and Senate which look at beefing up pension plans for corrections officers.

“The Governor and the Democrats have to get their priorities straight,” Schmaltz said.