Governor Jennifer Granholm proposed a possible solution to Michigan's closing prisons and California's overcrowded prison population. The State's have mutual interests in resolving budget and correctional problems and have the ability to aid each other. California's prisons house twice their capacity and some of Michigan's prisons are empty or will soon be closing in a plan to save $120 million for the State. The plan is to offer California some of Michigan's prison facilities in order to permit Michigan's correctional staff to continue working and also prevent California from possible lawsuits over the poor state of its prison health system.
California already houses prisoners in Arizona, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Oklahoma in private correctional facilities. This plan would set a new precedent for housing prisoners from different states in public facilities. A spokesperson for California's prison system, Seth Unger, said they are intrigued by Michigan's offer. They are interested in the idea if Michigan can offer the same level security at a good cost. Talks about the prison space between the two states started in early June.
Michigan is considering another option to reopen a maximum security prison in Manistique, Michigan, where the unemployment rate is above sixteen percent. If Guantanamo Bay closes, the federal government will need a new place for its 240 detainees. The idea is to move alleged terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to a vacant prison camp in the Upper Peninsula. Rep. Bart Stupak proposed the plan in response to President Barack Obama's plan to phase out Gitmo by the end of the year. The idea could bring in Michigan $1 billion a year. It would be a practical use of the facility that would help the economy