In Michigan
5:44 pm
Mon December 21, 2009

Michigan to take Pennsylvania prisoners

LANSING, MI –
Pennsylvania will help relieve a shortage of prison cells by sending a thousand inmates to Michigan. The inmates will be sent to a medium-security facility in Muskegon that would otherwise be closed next month.

AUDIO:
The Michigan Department of Corrections says some of the 264 people who work at the Muskegon Correctional Facility will still lose their jobs. That's because the Pennsylvania prisoners must have no serious physical or mental health issues, and are also expected to have very few visitors. The remaining 700 Michigan inmates will be moved to other facilities before the Pennsylvania prisoners arrive.

Michigan has more cells than it needs as it reduces its inmate population. It's trying to keep prisons operating and corrections officers employed by offering to take inmates from other states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The corrections department is right now preparing a proposal to submit to the state of California, which is also grappling with a critical shortage of prison beds.