Dianda seeks audit on prison closure
Language in state budget requires that economic impact be considered
MARENISCO — In response to the state’s announcement the Ojibway Correctional Facility in Marenisco will close Dec. 1, state Rep. Scott Dianda, D-Calumet, has presented a letter to state Auditor General Doug Ringler.
Dianda is requesting a performance audit on whether the Michigan Department of Corrections followed language in the state budget to properly consider the economic impact on the community before closing this facility.
In addition, Dianda issued this statement:
“My constituents are demanding answers and they deserve to know how MDOC came to the decision to close Ojibway. Language in the state budget requires the department to seriously consider the economic impact on the surrounding community of closing a correctional facility.
“The closure of Ojibway Correctional Facility could result in Gogebic County losing more than $700,000 in state school aid, the local hospital stands to lose more than $1 million in broken contracts, and corrections workers would have to drive more than 200 miles a day just to get to and from work at the closest remaining correctional facility. It looks to me, and many others, like MDOC did not take into account the consequences to the community.
“Local elected officials, business owners, and families and I believe that the costs of closing this facility far outweigh the benefits. I am asking the auditor general to conduct an audit because I believe MDOC failed to comply with the requirements in the budget and did not consider other communities that may be more able to absorb the impact of closing a correctional facility.”