September 22, 2014

Pennsylvania DOC to tour Standish Max

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STANDISH — It may not be a dead issue yet – a Michigan Correctional Organization newsletter issued Nov. 10 says representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections will be touring Standish Max soon.

“The PA DOC plans to tour and assess the compatibility of the Standish Max and Muskegon Correctional Facilities with their needs...similar to when representatives from

California and the Federal Government toured Standish earlier this summer,” the newsletter said. “It is our understanding that Pennsylvania has narrowed its search to only a few states, with Michigan and Virginia in the lead. MCO remains hopeful that an agreement can be reached between Michigan and Pennsylvania to benefit both states by utilizing our closed/closing facilities.”

Standish Mayor Mark Winslow said the Pennsylvania delegation will tour the prison Thursday.

“I guess there’s interest enough that they’re making the trip,” he said. It’s temporary, but at least it’s something.”

“Officials from the PA DOC will visit Michigan's prisons as part of their ongoing review of proposals received. Officials also will visit prisons in Virginia. These visits will take place over the next few weeks. We believe it is an important part of our review to tour these prisons,” said PA DOC Press Secretary Susan McNaughton in an e-mail to the Independent. “However, at this point no decision has been made... these are information-gathering tours. Officials will return to Pennsylvania and continue to review the information. A final decision is not expected for several weeks. Because we continue to gather information, we are not at a point in the process where we can discuss the costs associated with our housing inmates in other states.”

Winslow said as of Monday, no local government officials had been invited to accompany the PA DOC delegation on their trip.

The Standish Maximum Correctional Facility was closed Oct. 31, after a proposal from the state of Michigan to house California inmates feel through. Federal officials have also toured the prison, which employed 350 during its 19 years of operation.

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