It costs $5 million a day, or $2 billion a year, to run Michigan's prison system, whose population stands at 50,200 and is projected to top 56,000 within five years. Michiganís incarceration rate is 31 percent higher than the Midwest average. State government leaders have been unable to reach agreement on how to stem rising costs, but the nonpartisan Council of State Governments is heading an effort to help Michigan come up with effective and less expensive strategies for dealing with its law-breakers.
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