November 23, 2014

Still no funding for Standish Max environmental study

By Kevin Bunch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com
Posted

STANDISH – Funding for an environmental impact study (EIS) at the Standish Maximum Correction Facility still has not been approved, despite continued interest by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

“It’s just not getting funded,” said Richard Cohn, chief of the capacity planning and site selection branch of the prison bureau. “We advised local officials we would be in touch with them if that position changed.”

Cohn said that with budget concerns dominating Washington, D.C. discussions, he is not sure that the funds will be approved soon, either.

The Standish Max facility closed in 2009, but to reopen as a federal prison it needs to be expanded. The prison held about 600 prisoners before it closed, and Cohn told the Independent in August 2010 that a high-security federal prison needs to hold about 960.

Expanding Standish Max would include adding a minimum security camp outside of the secure perimeter and potentially an additional housing unit. The EIS needs to be undertaken to see how the expansion would affect the surrounding area, which includes wetlands west of the facility.

In September, Traci Billingsley, spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Prison Officials, told the Independent that the bureau is depending on government funding for fiscal year 2012, which currently has only been funded with continuing resolutions from last year’s budget.

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