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State closing prison in northern Michigan to save $22M

Jail cell
Stefano Mazzone via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0

Michigan is closing one of its 32 prisons to save $22 million in the next fiscal year.

The Pugsley Correctional Facility in Grand Traverse County will close in September.

The prison has more than 1,300 beds and 230 employees.

The Corrections Department made the announcement Tuesday, a day before a legislative committee is expected to endorse the closure in the next state budget.

Corrections Director Heidi Washington says it is a "difficult day" for the staff at Pugsley, but closing a prison is the result of hard work to reduce Michigan's prison population.

It is under 42,000 for the first time in nearly two decades after peaking at 51,554 in 2007.

The department says it will try to move as many Pugsley employees into other vacancies in the agency.

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