Prison Guards Set for Court Fight

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Many guard towers at high security prisons across Michigan won't be staffed during the evening and overnight shifts under a Corrections Department proposal being challenged in court.

The changes would cut down on shifts in guard towers at 19 of the state's 42 prisons. Guard towers in those prisons will lose 14 first shifts, 21 second shifts, and 30 third shifts under the proposal.

The cutbacks were a big part of the department's effort to cut $17 million from its budget in the current fiscal year.

The union that represents more than 9500 corrections and forensics officers is suing to stop the proposal from taking effect. It says fewer guard tower shifts is unsafe because fewer eyes will be watching inmates.

The issue is set to be considered Friday in Ingham County Circuit Court.