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A Michigan Prison May Be Privatized

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COLDWATER (WTVB) - At least one of Michigan's closed prisons could be up and running again under private management as part of the Department of Corrections conference report that passed the Senate Wednesday. 

There’s no immediate word if the Florence Crane Correctional Facility in Coldwater would fit the bill. Florence Crane is shutting down with d-day coming up June First. The private management proposal is just one of the options available to DOC under the boilerplate for competitive bidding on housing 1,750 prisoners. That’s what Conference Committee Chair Senator John Proos told the MIRS News Service yesterday.

Proos said it’s open-ended and they want to give the Department Flexibility. The $1.94 billion dollar DOC budget for Fiscal Year 2012 passed 22-15 Bruce Caswell one of four republicans voting against it. Proos said under the privatization provision, a current prison could be turned over to a private entity. Or DOC could decide to close one or more facilities and move them, possibly to other mothballed prisons, like the one inMuskegonthatPennsylvaniaprisoners just vacated.

The Department could also establish a public-private partnership. DOC could also look to house some of the 1,750 inmates at county jails, which spend less than the state on incarceration and currently have between 500 and 700 empty beds. 

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