House OK’s plan to send frail prisoners to nursing homes

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan House has approved legislation that would allow about 120 frail prisoners a year to be released to live in a nursing home.

House OK’d the medical parole legislation late Wednesday. It now goes to the Senate for consideration at a time when the number of geriatric prisoners and associated health costs are rising.

A bill analysis says the legislation could save the state’s prisons up to $5.4 million a year. The analysis says medically frail prisoners cost between three to five times more than other prisoners.

Bill sponsor Rep. Al Pscholka, a Republican, says he’s still in talks with federal officials to see if Medicaid could legally pick up the costs for the parolees.

Michigan’s prisons hold about 9,000 prisoners at least age 50.

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