Proos optimistic as governor names new Corrections Department director

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LANSING – Sen. John Proos today announced that Governor Snyder has named Jackson County Sheriff Dan Heyns as the new director of the state Corrections Department.  Heyns will replace Interim Director Dick McKeon on June 1.  McKeon will continue working with the department as a special adviser to the director.

“As a sheriff, Heyns understands the impact of crime on our communities; and as an administrator, he has had to operate a facility in an efficient, cost-effective manner,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “I look forward to working with him in order to hold the department accountable for spending taxpayer dollars while also maintaining a high level of safety.”

As Senate Appropriations Corrections Subcommittee chair, Proos added: “I will continue to use Michigan’s per-prisoner cost compared to other states as one measure of our success in achieving savings. We cannot continue to spend $94 per prisoner each day, which is 20 percent more than the average Great Lakes state.”

Heyns, of Jackson, has served as Jackson County sheriff since 2003.  He is responsible for a $12.5 million budget and a 450-bed jail operation.  He previously served as Jackson County undersheriff and was a captain in the department.  Heyns began his more than three-decade long law enforcement career as a district court probation officer after earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Michigan State University.

“I would also like to thank Dick McKeon for his service and dedication to Michigan,” Proos said. “His experience will be an invaluable asset to the new director.”

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