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Senator Caswell supports keeping juvenile justice facilities open in Michigan


 LANSING., MI (WTVB) - The Department of Human Services (DHS) would lose its three juvenile justice facilities, $21.1 million in General Fund support and more than 1,000 staff positions under a budget plan advanced by a House panel Tuesday morning. However, in the afternoon, the Senate DHS Appropriations Subcommittee, chaired by Bruce Caswell, went the other way. It kept all three facilities open and included the money the Governor recommended for both General Fund and gross spending. 

Caswell told MIRS they’ll reach compromises for the best ideas. The House plan would close the trio of the state-run so called "juvy halls" for young offenders. Private non-profits, some of which with religious components run 52 similar facilities. "Every time we move these kids, we mess 'em up more," in Caswell’s words. He said there has to be much better communication between DHS and the courts. House subcommittee Chairman Peter MacGregor said House leaders wanted to find money to support the low-income heating program without increasing surcharges on utility customers as Governor Snyder recommended.