September 21, 2014

Preliminary reports say trip to California was productive, not decisive

By Tim Barnum|News editor
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LANSING — A delegation representing the Michigan prison system returned from California on Thursday, after going west in an attempt to persuade that state’s department of corrections to look at Standish Maximum Correctional Facility and the Muskegon Correctional Facility as viable options to house California inmates, since California is wrestling with a serious overcrowding issue.

“I spoke with our Deputy Director over Correctional Facilities (a member of the delegation that visited California) and he said the trip went well and was very productive. He said the folks from California seemed impressed with what we had to offer and seemed very interested,” said Michigan Department of Corrections Public Information Officer Russell Marlan in an e-mail to the Independent. “There was some preliminary discussion as to costs. They (California officials) will be here next week to tour both facilities and will likely make a final determination within a couple weeks of touring.”

The dates when the California delegation will be in Standish have not officially been confirmed. Michigan’s representatives were in California Tuesday through Thursday.

As reported in last week’s Independent, California is facing a budget deficit of over $26 million and could save money by housing prisoners in Michigan, since it costs about $16,000 less per inmate per year to incarcerate them in Michigan in comparison to California.

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