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Director Shares Accomplishments of the First Five MonthsThis is part two of a three-part series on the new direction of the Michigan Department of Corrections. Director Dan Heyns shares accomplishments, rationale, and his vision for the Department.
The only constant in life is change.
The Michigan Department of Corrections is experiencing plenty of change in the first 120 days of Dan Heyns' tenure as Director of the agency. Director Heyns wants to foster change and reorganize the Department to improve productivity, safety, and our self-image. Part of improving that self-image includes changing how we see each other and how others see us. It also includes improving our working environment. Director Heyns wants employees to feel valued in a working environment that empowers innovation and inspires ideas that improve the Department.
Since June 1, the Department has done some impressive things, and has made some difficult decisions that will create a better future. They include:
· Pharmaceutical contract improvements;
· Completion of the DNA profile collection of nearly 5,000 prisoners in 11 weeks - nearly three months ahead of schedule;
· Implementation of a prosecutor notification system for parole decisions that will ultimately reduce prosecutorial challenges;
· Reorganization of the Correctional Facility Administration, eliminating the assistant deputy warden classification and reducing resident unit managers, while adding deputy warden positions. This action flattens the administrative bureaucracy and gives deputy wardens and wardens more "hands-on" control of their facilities;
· Announcing the intent to competitively bid health care and mental health care services;
· Announcing the closure of Mound Correctional Facility in mid-January 2012;
· Announcing the intent to competitively bid Woodland Center Correctional Facility;
· Implementing measures to control overtime costs;
· Adoption of an electronic prisoner law library system;
· Negotiating lower Medicaid rates at key health systems that serve Michigan prisoners;
· Enhanced monitoring of worker's compensation and FMLA use;
· Introduction of Tasers into correctional facilities; and
· Introducing the COST system to improve supply chain management.
These actions will ultimately strengthen the Michigan Department of Corrections and help our agency focus on its core mission - safely and cost efficiently incarcerating convicted felons wile providing resources for their success upon release.
Change is often difficult and Director Heyns fully understands some of these decisions will significantly impact employees - some of whom have been with the Department for many years. Heyns also realizes that these changes are necessary for the Department to meet its mission. One thing is very clear, change in life and in corrections, is constant.
The next issue of F.Y.I. will publish the final part of the series. Director Heyns discusses where he sees the Department in the future.
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