February 14, 2016

MDOC still searching for option for Standish Max

By Eric Young
Managing Editor | editor@ogemawherald.com

STANDISH — Representatives from the Michigan Department of Corrections are still searching for a new tenant for Standish Maximum Correctional Facility, according to Russ Marlan, DOC public information officer.

“MDOC Director Patricia Caruso has been working very hard to find an alternative agency to utilize the Standish facility to house their prisoner population,” Marlan said in an e-mail last week.

Marlan said that includes discussions with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

“I can’t say they are officially ‘interested,’ in SMF, but Director Caruso hasn’t given up,” Marlan said. He added that she was recently at a national conference in Tampa, Fla., “intensely advocating” for Standish.

Felicia Ponce, public affairs specialist for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, said the BOP looks for new locations only when the additional space is needed.

“The Bureau of Prisons site selection process is only initiated after a need for additional capacity is clearly established for a security level and particular region of the country,” Ponce said. “The acquisition of vacant state and local facilities is an option for housing BOP inmates as a means of reducing crowding in our facilities.”

Ponce said the greatest need currently is for medium and high security capacity.

“BOP staff have toured the Standish Correctional Facility in Michigan, and believe it to be structurally sound and quite viable for federal inmates,” she said. “If funding were to become available, we would be interested in exploring this further.”

Marlan said there is no set timeframe as to when the MDOC would give up on finding a tenant for the facility, and declare it surplus property for auction.

“We believe we can find a suitable user,” he said.

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