Pugsley Correctional Facility to close
GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mi. (WPBN/WGTU) -- The Pugsley Correctional Facility is scheduled to close in September as part of the 2016-17 fiscal year budget.
According to the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), this closure is due to successful efforts to reduce the state's prison population along with declining numbers of new prison commitments.
"While this is a difficult day for the staff at Pugsley, the ability to close a facility is a result of the hard work by so many across the department to help bring down our prison population," MDOC Director Heidi Washington said.
MDOC says closing Pugsley will save $22 million in the upcoming fiscal year budget. More than 25 facilities and camps have been closed since 2005 which has created more than $370 million in budget reductions, according to the Department of Corrections.
"This closure will provide the maximum savings possible to taxpayers," Washington said.
MDOC says they look at a variety of factors when choosing to close a facility which include the age of the facility, cost to operate, need for renovation and improvements, bed space by custody level and staff impact.
Based on weighing all the factors above, Pugsley was chosen to close.
"The department will begin working immediately with employees and their union leadership. The department will attempted to absorb as many staff as possible into the vacancies of the MDOC currently has throughout the system. It will beginning working with the various unions and the Office of State Employer on the bumping chains and transfer options for our employees. All options will be considered to minimize the impact on staff."
MDOC says in nearly two decades the state's prison population is now less than 42,000. The peak of the population in Michigan's prison was in March of 2007 when it hit 51,554.
As the focus of "Offender Success" continues, it is the department's hope that there will be further declines in the prison population by focusing efforts on probationers so fewer end up in prions, by providing quality education and opportunities to those in prison before they are released and appropriate supervision of those who are paroled.
- Location: Kingsley
- Opened in 1965
- Prisoner beds: 1,344
- Total Employees: 230
- Corrections officers: 133
- Anticipated closure date: Sept. 24