COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - Branch County Prosecutor Ralph Kimble has a beef with the Michigan Department of Corrections. Kimble isn’t pleased with MDOC’s prisoner placement policy that allows murder convicts doing life terms serving out their time at Coldwater’s medium security Lakeland Correctional Facility.
Late last year, a Lakeland inmate convicted in the 1999 killing of three Allegan County teenagers tried but failed to escape from the prison. Jamasa Derring and another man were caught early Christmas morning attempting to scale the facility’s concertina wire fence. Kimble says the likes of Derring don’t belong in Coldwater.
Kimble recalls when he was growing up and the prison opened in 1985 they said lifers wouldn’t be incarcerated here, but they have been and according to the Prosecutor, it’s caused a huge problem with criminals who have committed horribly, vicious acts behind bars in Coldwater. Kimble has filed escape charges against Derring to prosecute him although he knows some may wonder why waste taxpayers money with a trial when he’s already a lifer with no chance of parole. Kimble says it has to be done because the escape charge will raise his MDOC status and have him removed from medium security and put him and the likes of Deering where they belong at Ionia Supermax. Kimble says the local judges are completely on his side with the decision to prosecute Derring and adds that he plans to work with Branch County’s representatives in Lansing to find a way to change MDOC inmate placement priorities.