February 11, 2016

MDOC sets closure date for Standish Max, 80 – 90 people could be laid off


STANDISH — A not so happy Halloween for Standish — Oct. 31 was announced as the official date to close Standish Max on Tuesday.

“We fiscally can’t afford to keep it open,” said Department of Corrections Public Information Officer Russ Marlan. “It was costing us $2.7 million per month to keep it open.

“The closure date is set for Oct. 31.”

According to Marlan, between 80 and 90 employees working at SMF and the bumping facilities may be laid off, as others are expected to retire or be transferred elsewhere.

The prospect of keeping the prison operating with its current staff — taking in Pennsylvania inmates to reduce overcrowding — is still a possibility, Marlan said, adding that if a the state’s proposal to house Pennsylvania inmates in Standish Max (as well as in a Muskegon prison) is accepted before Oct. 31, the prison could still remain operational.

Also, the Guantanamo Bay possibility, which would not retain current officers, is still looming.

“We’re still viable in that picture, so maybe all I can do is hope something comes that way for us,” said Standish City Manager Mike Moran.

Marlan says the Oct. 31 date was targeted to give human resources employees with the MDOC time to move employees and inmates.

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