February 9, 2016

Standish Max’s standing with feds still unclear as attention turns to Illinois

Courtesy photo
Mayor Mark Winslow

STANDISH — News reports broke this weekend saying that Illinois prisons may now be the destination for Guantanamo Bay detainees, but Standish Mayor Mark Winslow said he hasn’t heard Standish Max is off the federal government’s list for detainment.

“We spoke with some of our contacts in Washington D.C. … The Federal Government is simply looking at other options,” Winslow said. “We haven’t been scratched from any list.”

He added that when it comes to the federal government possibly taking advantage of the facility that was closed by the State of Michigan Oct. 31, the city is still on the same page it has been on since federal officials visited the Standish Maximum Correctional Facility on Aug. 13.

“Until we hear more one way or another, it’s the same thing,” Winslow said.

City Council is still hoping that the prison is used in some way to help keep in tact some of the 45-percent of the city’s water and sewer revenue that the prison provided.

The issue of Guantanamo Bay detainees being held in Standish Max is a controversial one and members of the Michigan Coalition to Stop Gitmo North, which includes residents of the city, have voiced their opposition at several city council meetings, and protested in Standish on the corner of US-23 and M-61 the past three Fridays.

Reports said Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and Gov. Pat Quinn have expressed interest in placing Gitmo detainees in Illinois' Thomson Correctional Facility. Federal officials were scheduled to visit the prison Nov. 16.

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