February 10, 2016

California love: Michigan transplants, Sacramento newspaper support exporting inmates

By Tim Barnum|Staff writer
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CALIFORNIA — Standish isn’t the only place where the prospect of California prisoners being housed in the Standish Maximum Correctional Facility (SMF) is being supported, as area natives who now call Cali home are also behind the proposal.

Jason Charchan, 27, a former Standish resident who lives in Playa del Rey, Calif., says he sees the prospect of California inmates being detained in Standish as a can’t miss.

“I’ve been following the story. … Being a former Standish resident and current LA resident I can see both sides and it is really win/win,” Charchan said in a facebook message delivered to the Independent. “Out here the government is trying so hard to find ways to make money that it keeps raising taxes and even gave us IOU's for tax refunds this year.”

Echoing Charchan’s win/win sentiment was a Sacramento Bee editorial titled Win-win: Sending felons to Michigan (()), posted at sacbee.com on July 1.

“Paying to house our inmates in Standish would not only be more cost effective for us (California) but it would solve a huge overcrowding issue,” Charchan said. “Most importantly it will prevent a further downward spiral of the Arenac County economy.”

“Prison overcrowding is an ugly situation, especially when you have rival colors (rival gangs) crammed into tight quarters,” said Skidway Lake native Jason Fritz, who now resides in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. “It’s just a volatile situation where prisoners, their innocent family members and of course, the guards, are constantly on the lookout for shanks and shivs.

“Plus, as someone who used to work in Sterling, when I come back to Michigan, I’ve noticed how tough it’s been in that county (Arenac) over the last couple years,” Fritz added. “I couldn’t imagine how much worse it would get if over 300 people ended up losing their jobs.”

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