December 22, 2014

What’s next for prison facility?

DOC lists few options

By Tim Barnum|Staff writer
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STANDISH — Is there any hope the Standish Maximum Correctional Facility, ordered to be closed June 5, can be used in some way to create/save jobs in the area?

John Cordell, public information officer with the Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC) says there is a chance the prison, which employed over 350 people, could be used to house inmates for other jurisdictions, something he said would prevent too harsh of an economic downturn.

“Say another state or the federal government wanted to use the prison, we could work for them,” he said.

If that option comes off the table, Cordell says the prison could be held by the DOC for future use, or turned over to the Michigan Department of Management and Budget (DMB).

“They (DMB) would make a recommendation on what they want to do with it,” Cordell said, adding that could include brokering the facility’s sale to developers. “DMB would facilitate that sale.”

Unfortunately, when it comes to job creation at Standish Max, the outlook isn’t bright, since Cordell says four facilities shut down a couple years ago – two in Ionia County and two in Jackson – have not been reopened.

However, the ones in Jackson are getting some use.

“The ones in Jackson are being used by film makers right now to make prison-related moves or to film prison scenes,” Cordell said.

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