A state lawmaker is blaming Michigan's higher prisoner health care costs on a federal judge who has issued a series of scathing orders against the state.
State Senator Bruce Patterson, a Canton Republican, said today that US District Judge Richard Enslen of Kalamazoo is "totally out of control" and questioned whether the judge is lucid.
Enslen for years has overseen state prisons under federal consent decrees that required better prison conditions.
In November, Enslen ordered the state to stop using the kind of restraints used on a mentally ill inmate who died dehydration, and reopened federal monitoring of the mental health care of inmates.
Lawmakers are trying to save money because Michigan faces a $940 million budget deficit.