MDOC turns down private bid to run Standish Max

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A bid from Utah-based MTC to operate Standish Max has been turned down by the Department of Corrections.
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STANDISH — A bid from private, Utah-based correctional company Management and Training Corporation (MTC) to run the Standish Maximum Correctional Facility has been rejected by the Michigan Department of Corrections, according to State Rep. Joel Johnson.

Johnson told the Independent Oct. 3 that MTC’s bid to operate the prison as a 968-bed Level IV facility, as opposed to its current Level V status, was $20.1 million — much higher than the state was willing to pay for their services.

Johnson said it costs $12.9 million for the MDOC to house those prisoners, and the bid from MTC would have had to be in the $11.6 million range, per state law regarding prison privatization.

“The legislation says in order to privatize, you need to save at least 10 percent,” he said.

“If it was under $11.6 million on a bid from the privatizers, then they would need to accept the bid,” Johnson added.

As explained in the MDOC’s request for proposal (RFP), companies bid on providing correctional officers and administrative staff and paying for utility costs at the prison. The state would have provided medical care, prescriptions and mental health evaluations, Johnson said.

Johnson said the MDOC and state Department of Management and Budget deserves kudos for thoroughly looking over the bid and making a sound decision.

“I have to give them credit,” he said. “A lot of the legislators were really pushing them, saying that if there’s any way you can get this done, you have to get it done.”

“The Department of Management and Budget really went through these numbers and hired an independent CPA firm, not government employees, to go through with this and look through their finances,” Johnson added.

Despite the recent news, Johnson said a RFP for Standish Max could be floated out to private companies again.

“I’m sure that they will do an RFP again for future years — it just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen at this time,” he said.

Standish Max was closed in 2009 as part of statewide budget cuts.

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