The state Department of Corrections plans to close two prisons and convert one of them to a holding facility for alleged parole violators, because there’s a shortage to house felons suspected of violating parole.
“Every day, there are situations with those parolees where we have to put them into custody while we investigate circumstances surrounding alleged parole violations,” says Russ Marlan, a spokesman for the corrections department. “So, right now, we either put them in a van and drive them back to our reception center, or we let them walk out of the parole office.”
The Ryan Correctional Facility in Detroit and an inmate re-entry facility in Caro will be closed. The department will also re-open a shuttered prison in Muskegon as part of the shakeup.
The shakeup will close the last remaining prison in Detroit, and it will force inmates in the facility to be moved out of the city. Detroit state Representative Fred Durhal says that’s not a good idea.
“Just because people go to prison doesn’t mean that they should be disconnected from their families and support systems that will help them become rehabilitated and better citizens,” he says. “Because that’s what this thing is about – is punish them for the crimes that they’ve done, but not cut them off from family and other relatives.”
Durhal says the two prisons that are closing are two of the state’s newest correctional facilities. Corrections officials say the shakeup will cost another $10 million dollars a year. But they say it’s less expensive than other options for dealing with parole violators.