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Muskegon Correctional Facility could be privatized

The Muskegon Correctional Facility will close June 1, but could be reopened as a county jail operated by a private company.

A West Michigan prison slated to close in June could reopen as a county jail -- under private management.  

The Muskegon Correctional Facility houses Pennsylvania inmates right now as part of a deal that kept the prison from closing previously.

But that deal is ending four years early and the prison will close on June 1st.

Last week, a private company – GEO Group – toured the facility with state and county officials.  The company already owns and operates a private prison in Baldwin.

Russ Marlan is with the Michigan Department of Corrections. He says Muskegon County needs more jail space.

“Maybe it’s sectioning off a housing unit or two, or working in some manner that will allow them to increase their jail capacity," Marlan says. "Their big issue is their jail is very old, it’s dilapidated, and it’s not big enough for their population.”

Marlan also says the state might use some of the 1,300 bed prison to house parole violators.