Camp Brighton Closes as Two Camps Open

Sunday will be a busy day in the department, as one women's camp closes and two refurbished ones open.

Operational expenses have led to Camp Brighton shutting its doors after more than fifty years in existence. The camp, located near Pinckney, was opened in February 1952 primarily for youthful male offenders. It became a female facility in 2001, houses 404 Level I prisoners and operates under the supervision of the Huron Valley Complex - Women.

Camp Brighton has had a history of problems with the well water supply, and there was also a need to update the septic system and the buildings.

"It's a bittersweet time for us," said Camp Brighton Assistant Deputy Warden Tom DeSantis. "I've been here five years and the staff here works well together. We're like a family. Some of them have been here for 15, 20 years."

Prisoners at Camp Brighton will be divided between Camp White Lake in White Lake Township and Camp Valley in Ypsilanti. Camp White Lake was formerly known as Camp Gilman and Gilman TRV, and last operated in 2004. The camp is being designated as a re-entry facility for prisoners who are part of the Michigan Prisoner ReEntry Initiative (MPRI).

It will house 160 prisoners and be under the supervision of the Robert Scott Correctional Facility. Camp Valley was last utilized as Huron Valley TRV center for men. It will house 232 prisoners and be under the supervision of Huron Valley Complex - Women.

Where Camp Brighton was about 45 minutes from its parent facility, the new camps are in closer proximity.

"It will certainly be more cost effective for us to have the camps close to their parent facilities and the many services they provide," said Deb Scutt, Operations Manager for Correctional Facilities Administration. "This is also advantageous from an MPRI standpoint, as we work to transition the women back into the community."

Michigan Department of Corrections, FYI Newsletter 032207