Announcement of the Closing of Florence Crane Correctional FacilityFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: John C. Cordell, Public Information Officer
The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) has identified the Florence Crane Correctional Facility (ACF) as the facility for closure called for in Governor Rick Snyder's fiscal year (FY) 2011-12 budget recommendation. The 1,056 prisoners impacted by this closure will be transferred to vacant beds in existing prisons. As the prisoner population slowly dropped throughout 2010, the Department closed sections of prisons or housing units to save money. However, the MDOC is now in a position to consolidate available open beds and close an entire correctional facility which will produce greater savings than leaving sections or housing units closed throughout the system.
The full-year cost of operating ACF is $27.4 million. In order to realize additional net savings of $6.6 million this fiscal year, the Department will close the facility by June 1, 2011. The closure of ACF is in addition to the pending closure of Muskegon Correctional Facility which is also expected to close by late spring due to Pennsylvania terminating the contract to house prisoners in Michigan.
Florence Crane Correctional Facility was chosen for closure based on a variety of factors:
- The facility is a converted mental health facility which requires a higher staffing ratio,
- The facility has a per diem cost of $70.86, and is one of the most expensive lower security level prisons to operate,
- The facility has substantial physical plant needs,
- The Lakeland Correctional Facility adjacent to ACF will remain open, which lessens the economic impact to the community, as compared to closing a stand-alone facility in a more remote area, and
- The facility is an hour commute from the Jackson prison complex and the Gus Harrison Correctional Facility in Adrian where displaced employees may be able to relocate.
This closure will impact employees throughout the department. The reduction-in-force may result in employee layoffs. Employees willing to transfer or take other positions, as well as the retirement of eligible employees, could mitigate the number of potential layoffs. The Department will also work with other state departments, such as the Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth and Michigan Works! agencies across the state, to take advantage of each agency's ability to assist with displaced workers. Department administrators are meeting with employees at Florence Crane Correctional Facility to discuss the closure and provide initial information regarding their options.
For the past several years, the Department has been closing prisons as the prison population dropped. The most recent Prison Population Projections Report shows:
- The Michigan prison population has now decreased for four consecutive years, to a total of 44,113 inmates at the end of December 2010. This is the smallest year-end prison population since 1998. It also represents a decline of 7,441 inmates (-14.4%) from the peak prison population of 51,554 reached in March 2007.
- In calendar year 2010, the prison population decreased by 1,365 inmates (-3.0%), due to fewer prison admissions than prison releases and the lowest parole revocation rate since at least before routine record keeping began in 1987.
- The continuation of the decrease in prison population throughout 2010 enabled the department to reduce net operating capacity by a total of 1,899 prison beds over the course of the year (-4.1%).
- The prison population continues to decline in 2011. As of March 18, 2011, the prisoner count was 43,842.