September 21, 2014

Pennsylvania to send 1,000 inmates to Muskegon, none to Standish

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STANDISH — Pennsylvania has decided to send 1,000 inmates to Michigan. But the inmates will not be transported to Standish Max.

“We have chosen two prisons where we are sending Pennsylvania inmates to,” said Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Deputy Press Secretary Sue Bensinger on Dec. 21. “One is in Muskegon, Mich. and the other is in Chatham, Virginia.

"We are anticipating February 2010 to begin transfers. Muskegon closely matched the PA DOC criteria," Bensinger added in an e-mail to the Independent.

She said about 1,000 inmates will be transferred to each facility.

"We had high hopes that they would come through with us," said Standish City Manager Mike Moran. "We could've brought a lot of our good citizens that worked at the prison back to the community."

"We'll continue on and look at something else, but I don't know at this time of any other options," said Arenac County Board of Commissioners Chairman Raymond Daniels. "It'll affect the city more than the county. ... But it certainly affects all of us living and working here."

Standish Max was closed by the State of Michigan on Oct. 31. At its peak operating years, it employed 350 people, making it Arenac County's largest employer.

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