UPDATED NOV. 21: Pennsylvania delegation gets up close look at Standish Max
STANDISH —Pennsylvania Department of Corrections representatives toured Standish Max Friday to aid in the state’s decision of where it will house overflow inmates.
Russ Marlan, Public Information Officer for the Michigan DOC, said the Pennsylvania DOC’s Director and two Deputy Directors toured the prison, one day after also taking a site tour of the Muskegon Correctional Facility.
“The tour went very well and I think they were impressed with the Standish facility, the Muskegon facility and our extremely professional employees they encountered on both tours,” Marlan said. “I believe they expect to make a decision very quickly, probably in the next couple of weeks.”
Pennsylvania had sent letters to six states requesting information about prison systems, and narrowed its search to two states – Michigan and Virginia.
Susan McNaughton, Press Secretary for the PA DOC, said site tours of Virginia correctional facilities would also be taken by state officials.
According to Marlan, if Pennsylvania officials decide they would like to take advantage of Standish Max, officially shuttered Oct. 31, it could be good news for former and current DOC employees who once worked at the Standish maximum-security prison.
“They would have a chance to come back, if they wanted to,” he said.
The community support showed towards the Pennsylvania group – a meat and cheese tray delivered compliments of the city of Standish, handmade and business signs welcoming the PA DOC – did not go unnoticed either. Marlan said the DOC personnel on the site tour were able to “recognize the positive impact SMF had on the community and understand people's passion about finding a possible replacement. They did understand that the folks out there were supportive of Pennsylvania potentially using the facility.”
Marlan added that inmates from Pennsylvania would be medium-security prisoners, as opposed to maximum-security inmates that were housed at Standish Max for the 19 years it was operating.