MDOC issued the following press release on September 7th, 2022:
Due to the declining prisoner population, the Michigan Department of Corrections announced today the consolidation of the south side of the Gus Harrison Correctional Facility in Adrian and that Michigan Reformatory in Ionia will cease operations in November.
Given the high number of correctional officer vacancies among the four prisons in Ionia, today’s news about Reformatory will drastically reduce the need for mandated overtime at the three remaining facilities and the expectation is that those working in the other positions at Reformatory will have opportunities to continue working in the department.
“While these announcements are normally and understandably difficult on staff, in this instance we know it may be welcome news to many,” said MDOC Director Heidi Washington. “This will provide much-needed relief to our officers, nurses and other employees who have worked significant overtime shifts over the past few years.”
The consolidation in Adrian will impact the four remaining open units on the south side of the facility, previously known as the Parr Highway Correctional Facility. That side of the facility has eight total units, with four already closed due to a declining prisoner population. Ending the remaining operations on this side of the facility will allow those staff to work on the north side of the prison and will eliminate the officer vacancies there. In Ionia, there are enough officer vacancies among the other three facilities to absorb all of the current officers at Reformatory.
“Today’s announcement will not only provide relief to so many of our employees, but is a sign of our continued success,” Washington said. “When you couple that with the lowest recidivism rate in state history, we are able to take these significant steps that help our staff, allow us to still provide exceptional public safety and continue to be good stewards of taxpayer resources.”
The MDOC continues to see an historic decline in its prisoner population and has 33 closed housing units around the state. The state’s prison population now stands at 32,000, the lowest it has been in more than 30 years. Michigan’s prison population peaked in March 2007 when it stood at 51,554. Michigan’s recidivism rate has dropped from nearly 45% to just 23.6% over the last 20 years, reflecting a significant decrease in the number of violations and new crimes committed by those on parole. Michigan now ranks in the top five nationally for its recidivism rate.