The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, September 17, 1980-Page 3
State officials: Tisch tax cut
plan could close our prisons
LANSING (UPI)-Four major
-prisons would close and nearly 6,000
inmates would be back on the streets if
voters approve the Tisch Tax Cut
:Amendment, according to state of-
State Corrections Director Perry
Johnson also predicted severe cutbacks
in, the supervision of criminals on
probation and parolees.
Top government bureaucrats were
asked by Budget Director Gerald Miller
to detail what would happen to
programs under the tax cut plan,
backed by controversial Shiawassee
Drain Commissioner Robert Tisch.
STATE OFFICIALS have said the
Tisch plan would cost the state $2 billion
In a letter to Miller, Johnson said four
major facilities-including the
Michigan Reformatory at Ionia, and
he Dunes, Kinross, and Phoenix
prisons- would be shut down. Also
LANSING (UPI)-The Board of State
Canvassers voted quickly yesterday to
put the Tisch Tax Cut Amendment on
the fall ballot .and then haggled for
more than three hours over official
wording-ultimately satisfying no one.
Shiawassee County Drain Coin-
missioner Robert Tisch, the proposal's
author, said the final wording adopted
by the board will confuse voters
because it is too similar to that already
approved for rival tax reform proposals
which also will appear on the ballot.
By BETH PERSKY
Three local residents, charged with
unwarranted loitering and disorderly
conduct'during a draft registration
protest last July were fQund not guilty
4 inVU.S; District Court Ionday.
The three defendants-Christopher '
Berg and David DeVarti, from Ann Ar-
bor, and Edith Hefly, from Ypsilan-
ti-refused to leave the Liberty Street
*post office at the 5 p.m. closing time on
BERG AND DeVARTI were carried
out of the building by federal building
police, and all three protesters were
issued citations the next day to appear
in court at a later date.
Berg said the decision was a moral
victory, although the arguments were
mostly technical. Through testimony of
both prosecution and defense wit-
nesses, he said, "it was clear what we
did was not unwarranted."
DeVarti said that "moral arguments
on issues of conscience'' and "legal
technicalities" both helped to persuade
the magistrate, Chris Stiff, that the
defendants were "in the right."
predicted to shut down are the
minimum security prison camp system
and trusty divisions at Marquette and
Southern Michigan Prison at Jackson.
Closing of the facilities would force
the release of 5,655 minimum and selec-
ted medium security prisoners, John
son said. These prisoners generally are
first offenders or have committed non-
In addition, Johnson said the
traditional supervision of inmates on
probatiion and parole would be cut to a
All school programs-including high
school, community college and univer-
sity classes-would also be eliminated
if Tisch passes, he said.
"Within the institutions . . . ap-
proximately 4,100 inmates would be
without educational programming,"
"Having this number of residents
with no job or self-improvement
THE BOARD, acting on orders from
the Michigan Supreme Court,
unanimously certified the Tisch plan
for the fall ballot.
The high court ordered Tisch onto the
ballot last Friday, overturning a lower
court ruling that petitions for the
proposal which contained more than
enough signatures were legally defec-
Tisch would slash property taxes by
half or more and require 60 per cent
voter approval of any new state levies.
programming could significantly im-
pact institutional behavior."
The prison director told Miller the
state could expect lawsuits by prisoners
if the school programs are cut. He ad-
ded the rebuilding of the programs
would take years, "if it could ever be
Other cutbacks predicted by Johnson
*A 30 per cent reduction in department
staff at a time when the central office
personnel is "embarrassingly small."
*Elimination of the prison industries
program, which produces the
traditional license plates and office
furniture. Johnson said this would
result in idleness on the part of unem-
ployed inmates and could trigger
*An end to the sophisticated computer
system used to track inmates from time
of entry to the point of discharge.
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"We demonstrated that what we did
was well thought out, completely
peaceful in nature. It was clear we were
there to make a statement against the
selective seryice act without causing
trouble, we were serious, our intentions
were good, and it was something rooted
in our conscience," DeVarti said.
STIFF, HOWEVER, said he viewed
the case merely in terms of the legal
technicalities. He said the prosecution
failed to prove the charge that the
defendants created a disturbance of
Normal Bell, the unit manager for the
post office, testified for the prosecution.
Bell said he didn't object to the demon-
stration itself, and merely testified to
the fact that the three wouldn't leave
The three defendants faced possible
maximum sentences of a $50 fine
and/or 30 days in jail if convicted.
DeVarti said he might have refused to
pay the fine.
"There's a good chance that if I had
been fined I would not have paid the
fine anyway, because I felt what I did
was morally correct," DeVarti said.
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Ann Arbor Libertarian League-Bette Erwin, "The Integrated Man," 7:30
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Department of Classical Studies, Dept. of Near Eastern Studies-Kurt
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