Aug 13, 2009

Standish Correctional Facility could be home to Guantanamo Bay detainees

LANSING – A bipartisan coalition of State Representatives told the Judiciary Subcommittee on Corrections Reform on Wednesday that they would accept out-of-state inmates and Guantanamo Bay prisoners at the soon-to-be-closed Standish Maximum Correctional Facility to save jobs.

The committee was holding hearings on the Interstate Corrections Compact, and the prison in northeast Michigan was the hot topic. Federal officials are scheduled to tour the prison in Standish this week as a potential place for Guantanamo Bay detainees, and both Pennsylvania and California are considering Michigan as a home for its overcrowded inmate population.

Michigan’s incarceration rate is the 2nd highest in the 12-state Midwest region, and in order to balance the state budget, Michigan is looking for alternatives to the expensive practice of housing non-violent and older prisoners. This has led to some prisons and camps being closed, and Standish is on the chopping block,. The prison accounts for as much as 25 percent of the local budget, and housing out-of-state prisoners with someone else paying for them would save Michigan jobs.

Accepting the out-of-state prisoners is a no-brainer, but accepting the Gitmo detainees has been met with mixed reaction. Accepting suspect terrorists on mainland U.S. soil has some people concerned, but officials down played that because the detainees have not been convicted, and they are no more dangerous than some of the murderers that are in the prison system now. There also has never been an escape from the prison.

“They are no more dangerous than the Bloods or Crips in California,” said Rep. Joel Sheltrown, D-West Branch. “I don’t think there will ever be an escape, no matter who is housed there.”

Sheltrown, a Vietnam Vet, compared the prison to the job done by Vietnamese guards, but he said the prison guards at Standish are professional and well-trained

“There were no escapes at the Hanoi Hilton, and if they can do it, so can we,” he said.

The other problem with the Gitmo detainees is that the prison will be most likely be run by the Department of Defense, and that may not save many prison guard jobs because the guards most likely would be federal employees or even military. However, the auxiliary jobs like cooks and maintenance would stay, and they would also purchase supplies on the local market. There is also expected to be some building, and any prison would need a federal courtroom on site.

“That would still be a huge economic benefit to the community,” said Rep. Tim Moore, R-Farwell. “The prison accounts for 20-25 percent of the local budget.”

Lawmakers are concerned that there are no solid details on how Gitmo detainees would be housed, and they also want assurances that the area will be safe before making a final decision if they are chosen. Some residents have raised the possibility that the prison could be a terrorist target if it were to house Gitmo detainees.

All said there are a lot of variables involved in accepting Gitmo detainees, but their primary concerns are the safety of the community and jobs, not the politics of the situation.

“The anxiety and uncertainty of the employees and their families is first and foremost in my mind,” said Rep. Jeff Mayes, D-Bay City. “The political question is best left at a higher pay grade than mine.”


kevins said...

I'm really not sure how I feel about this, guru's "reporting" on this is another example of his bizarre distorted world.

He quotes, with apparent agreement, a lawmaker who says the security at the Standish prison will be adequate. He using Vietnam prison of war camps to support his claim. "There were no escapes at the Hanoi Hilton, and if they can do it, so can we," he said.

Well, the Hanoi Hilton used torture...lots of it. If a Republican had used this argument, guru's headline would have been: GOP continues to support torture.

Now, just to be clear, I'm not criticizing Sheltrown. Don't know him. He's probably a good guy. I just thought it was amusing that guru was quoting a guy who used a torture-prison to prove his point.

Communications guru said...

Well, you’re welcome to try and find something that is not factual, but that would be futile.

The security at the prison is adequate. The point the was making is how professional and competent Michigan prison guards are.

I thought you liked torture? That’s one reason I think Gitmo should be closed and prisoners moved to the mainland U.S. so there is more scrutiny so torture will not go one. Plus, the purpose of the torture in Vietnam was not to stop escapes; it was to gain propaganda and intelligence. It didn’t work.

Anon said...

"Bloods or Crypts"? I'm no gang-banger, but I believe they're called the Crips.

Communications guru said...

I have seen it both ways on Google. But, Wikipedia says Crips, so that’s what I’ll go with. Thanks for pointing that out.

kevins said...

I'm amazed that guru knows so much about the security of the Standish prison. It's almost like he served time there.

Communications guru said...

Ah, another cowardly, anonymous, slimy insinuation by brett. Here’s what you do, brett. Go to the Michigan Department of Corrections Offender Tracking Information System at,1607,7-119-1409---,00.html Then, type in my name that I provide. See, I’m not an anonymous coward like you, and I stand by what I write. If I was in the system, you will see my photo and time served.

But, when the facts are not on your side, this is what you always do.

kevins said...

What facts aren't on my side? You are the one who won't explain why he knows so much about the security of the Standish prison.

Funny, instead of ignoring it or just simply saying you've never been in prison, you make a diversionary statement that says nothing.

So I've looked for your name on the sex offender's list and I typed your name into the web site you provided. And now I've confirmed what I already suspected.
Thanks for the tip.

Communications guru said...

None in this case. Just another cowardly, anonymous, slimy insinuation. Then publish it. There is a good reason you hide behind a fake name, and that is because you’re simply a coward.

kevins said...

Even though guru once again ignores questions and facts that show he's wrong, and even though he once again resorts to paranoia and name-calling...even with all that, isn't it odd that he still hasn't denied being in prison? All hed to say is: Any implication that I've been in prison is silly, false and without foundation. And then go on with it.

Instead, he throws a fit, starts talkinga bout web sites, eyv.

But never a simple denial. Kind of strange. Wonder why that is?

Communications guru said...

Another cowardly, anonymous, slimy insinuation in a long line of them. When you are always wrong on the facts like you always are, this where you have to stoop. I notice a lot of typos in your last two comments, brett. You really need to go back on your meds.

kevins said...

Do you really want to start comparing typos and poor spelling? Fine. (Of course your biggest typo is when you say you never lie, when you intended to say you mostly lie.

Here's the amazing thing. I didn't make any insinuation. I noted that you get upset about my mention of the prison, but you have never denied being in prison.

You still haven't denied it. Strange.

Communications guru said...

Yes. You cannot possibly deny you have given me a hard time for typos and every other little thing? Like I said before, you need to get back on your meds. Saying I never lie is not a typo; it’s a fact. I’ll say it again to make it more clear for you, brett. I have never lied.

No one is buying your false, slimy and cowardly insinuations. Like I said before when you made the false the child molester insulations: present your alleged evidence or shut up. You couldn’t do it then, and you can’t do it now because it‘s simply not true and you know it. The only liar is you, brett.

kevins said...

Alleged evidence of what? I've never accused you of anything.

You, on the other hand, bring suspicion on yourself. You imply you know something about the inside of a prison, but you won't state that you've never been in prison. Hmmmm.

You are too funny. You make a big deal about typos and then you write this: "Like I said before, when you made the false the child molester insinuations:" Wow. In what school was that acceptable writing? And, by the way, the insinuations weren't false. They were very accurate insinuations. Had I actually made an accusation, then you could challenge it's accuracy. But I never did. Someone else might say, "Me thinks, thou protests too much." If you know what I mean.

Communications guru said...

Like I said many times before, the cowardly insinuations certinely are false, and I have challenged you repeatedly to prove it or shut up. You can’t do it because none of the accusations are even remotely true; just like you can’t make a logical argument without stooping to false, cowardly and anonymous accusations and insinuations.

“Me don’t give a dam what a coward like you thinks,” and no, I don’t know what you mean.