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Wed August 12, 2009
Standish prison debated in Lansing
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – A state House Judiciary subcommittee is taking testimony about what to do with a Standish maximum security prison scheduled to be closed. The two most discussed options are housing prisoners from other states or federal prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.
Officials from Standish echoed concerns of the community that housing accused and convicted terrorists would make the city an easy target for attacks. But, they said, the prison is the city's largest employer and closing it altogether would be a devastating blow.
State Representative Joel Sheltrown also testified. He says accepting prisoners from California would be better, but if that plan falls through the state shouldn't rule out housing federal prisoners.
"I don't believe they are anymore dangerous than the Crips or the Bloods or any other gang in California," he said.
But Representative Andrew Kandrevas, says while he agrees with Sheltrown, the state can know more about American prisoners.
"And that's a fear because the feds aren't going to just start opening their files to us."
Governor Granholm is currently in negotiations with California Governor Schwarzenegger to accept West Coast prisoners.