Northern michigan prison reopens to replace closing corrections facility

Hiawatha reopens to replace Kinross. Officials say the move will save approximately $2 million.

Hiawatha reopens to replace Kinross. Officials say the move will save approximately $2 million.

A closed prison will reopen in northern Michigan to take on Inmates and employees from an adjacent corrections facility which is scheduled to shut down due to high upgrade costs.

The Hiawatha Correctional Facility is scheduled to reopen later this month to replace the Kinross facility in Chippewa county.

Holly Kramer is with the Michigan Department of Corrections and said the department’s staff suggested the idea as a cost saving move.

“It was determined that it would cost less to reopen Hiawatha than it would be to do needed infrastructure and security upgrades at Kinross. So this was a really great example of our staff working together to address needs and save money for Michigan taxpayers”.

Kramer said it will cost about 2 million dollars less to reopen Hiawatha and transfer inmates there than it would to stay at Kinross. “Well I can tell you that total capital improvements at Kinross are estimated to cost $10.6 million. While security and infrastructure upgrades at Hiawatha are projected at about $8.9 million”.

She says additional room at Chippewa Corrections will be made for overflow at Hiawatha. Kramer also assured no employee is at risk for losing their jobs. “No one’s at risk for losing their jobs. Hiawatha is a smaller facility, so fewer staff were needed their. We did however add 23 positions at Chippewa Correctional Facility. We reopened 2 units at that prison so additional staff were added to account for that.”

Hiawatha will also take on Kinross’s name after the transfer is complete. Kramer said right now, there are no set long term plans for Kinross’s facility after it has been shut down, other than it may be reopened if the state’s prison population significantly increases.

The transfer process is to begin later this month.