Medical parole measures approved by Michigan Legislature

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Legislation designed to ease Michigan's ability to parole medically frail inmates is nearing final approval.

The Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly passed bills that earlier cleared the House, meaning they will go to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's desk.

The bills would enable some prisoners with severe and chronic physical or mental disabilities to finish their sentences at a medical facility rather than a prison, if approved by the parole board.

Lawmakers say the legislation would save the state money because the federal government covers a portion of Medicaid costs to treat inmates housed outside prison walls.

About 20 to 30 prisoners could be eligible for medical parole under the bills, but there are an additional 450 to 500 inmates who could become eligible in the future based on their chronic care needs.

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