View Full Version : Scott's Women Prison Closing

02-12-2004, 04:34 AM
On WDIV (channel 4) They said that Scott's Women's Prison is Plymouth is going to be closed and the land sold for local development. The women are going to be moved to Huron Valley in Ypsilanti, which is currently a mental health prison and add space for the women. This is part of the governor's budget cut plan...what else is in the works?

02-12-2004, 05:50 AM
Here's an article from the Detroit News:

PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP — Michigan’s budget troubles could soon become Plymouth Township’s gain.

State officials said Thursday they will close the Western Wayne County Correctional Facility, an 850-bed women’s prison that’s been a bane for years to residents in one of southeast Michigan’s most affluent corners.

The closure will save the state $22.7 million a year and help plug a $1.3 billion budget hole. More important to Plymouth residents, the land’s sale should pave the way for redevelopment of the 127-acre site that just last year was slated for a 400-bed expansion.

“We are extremely pleased, and we are looking forward to the closure,” Plymouth Township Supervisor Steve Mann said. “It’s been quite a turn of events from a year ago, when (lawmakers) wanted to increase the population out there. ... We never expected this.”

The women’s prison becomes the second institution in western Wayne County to close since Jennifer Granholm became governor. Granholm also signed off on shuttering Northville Psychiatric Hospital last spring. The state hopes to sell that facility for at least $65 million, said state Rep. John Stewart, R-Plymouth.

Granholm’s spokeswoman, Liz Boyd, said the governor won’t discuss the closing of the Plymouth prison until she presents the budget to lawmakers today.

State corrections officials, however, confirmed the inmates in the minimum security prison will be moved to the Huron Valley Center in Ypsilanti, a mental health facility that will be converted into a prison.

Word spread quickly about the closure Wednesday among Plymouth residents; they were eager to declare victory.

“As a Plymouth resident, I would want the prisoners to be housed elsewhere,” said Dan Cronin, 21. “If that land was used for housing or businesses, then there would be ... tax money coming in” to the township.

Others weren’t so happy. In a region choked with sprawl, some residents said they prefer anything that prevents growth — even a prison — to the march of development.

“It would just break my heart to have that prison torn down for a subdivision or a concrete jungle,” said Sean Autrey, who lives within two miles of the prison.

Though tucked away in a corner of the community isolated from houses, the prison’s presence still rattles residents — primarily because that short stretch of Five Mile is home to the majority of female prisoners in Michigan.

Across the street from the Western Wayne prison is the Robert Scott Correctional Facility in Northville, which houses 875 prisoners.

Potential windfall

Beyond being a relief to some neighbors, the closure of the prison could be a windfall for Plymouth Township.

One of the premier addresses in southeast Michigan, Plymouth’s undeveloped land can fetch up to $200,000 an acre. Hugging the border of Northville on Five Mile, the prison could conceivably be redeveloped for industrial use.

“Let’s face it: No one wants a prison in your back yard, and we’d surely love it for something else. It’d be great,” said Ron Edwards, township treasurer.

“But who’s going to clean up the property and pay for it? We need to see what the state is going to do, and the worst thing that could happen is for them to close the prison and not do anything.”

The prison was constructed on a former landfill, and Plymouth officials learned during a Tuesday meeting that the site still could contain methane gas or other pollutants.

Another unintended consequence of the closure: Township residents’ water bills may increase. Plymouth makes a profit selling Detroit water to the facility for about $220,000 a year and would have to absorb the loss. Edwards couldn’t predict how much rates could rise.

The township, however, didn’t collect taxes from the prison.

Stewart said the state would handle any sort of environmental cleanup. A full environmental report on the facility is due next month.

“If it can be cleaned up in the next seven or eight months, then it could be developed in 2005 and on the tax roles for Plymouth Township,” Stewart said.

Stewart praised the prison’s closure as a sound business decision, and thanked Granholm for preventing its expansion with her veto in 2003.

If history is any indication, any sale may take some time.

The Detroit House of Corrections ceased operations in the mid-1980s on 860 acres of land that straddles Northville and Plymouth townships. Just last year, developers agreed to purchase some of the property for $50 million to build houses and a technology park.

But two attempts to sell the Northville Psychiatric Hospital have failed.

Moving prisoners

The closure will be announced today as part of Granholm’s budget, which requires approval from the Legislature. It would mean moving some of the current prison population.

The 854 prisoners at the Western Wayne facility will be moved to the Huron Valley Center in Ypsilanti, an underused psychiatric facility that will be turned into a women’s prison. The 220 to 230 mentally ill inmates there will be moved to the nearby Huron Valley Corrections Facility.

The male prisoners now housed at the Huron Valley Corrections Center will be spread among other prisons, which have more than 1,000 beds available.

Michigan’s prison population has stabilized after more than two decades of mushrooming growth. The number of inmates went from 13,824 in 1977 to more than 49,000 in 2002.

The first break in that growth came last year, amid concerns the prison system would run out of space and it would be forced to grant early release to hundreds of inmates.

Corrections spokesman Leo Lalonde said the current population in prisons and camps is 48,328, meaning there’s room for more than 1,000 additional prisoners.

The vacant cells partly are the product of conscious efforts to halt prison growth during the state’s budget crisis, including subtle policy changes that have resulted in a higher parole rate.

“We need a cushion of 500 beds to operate,” Lalonde said. “If it gets below that, we really start to worry.”

The news that overpopulation won’t be a problem is welcome to Plymouth Township resident Lucy Berry, 62, who worried about where the prisoners would go. Berry has lived in the township for about 30 years and did not mind sharing her township with the facility.

“As long as the prison is in half-way decent shape, I think we should keep it,” Berry said.

One thing she wouldn’t want to see is a new shopping center replace the site in an area that’s already too built up for her tastes. “I would just like to see a tree for once,” Berry said.

After the state cleans the land, township Supervisor Mann would like to see it become a part of the township’s technology park. The prison is buffered by a highway and industrial and technological businesses.

02-12-2004, 06:12 AM
I heard about this on the radio at 3am this morning. Thought I was dreaming. :D SHe's supposed to present her budget at noon today!! Fingers crossed!


02-12-2004, 06:30 AM
Fingers crossed here too Stac...


02-12-2004, 06:53 AM
yes, the budget is getting presented today - I think this may include the TIS stuff that i was mentioning the other day. it's interesting that there are 1000 beds available for transfering these prisoners and what does this mean for the short-term?

02-12-2004, 07:00 AM
Man I hope the budget cut mean they will let some of the level one guys go. A girl can only dream.

02-12-2004, 07:39 AM
These 1000 beds were IN the system, used by the mentally ill. Personally I'm somewhat worried about them taking those mentally ill prisoners and putting them in the general population!! At Huron Valley they are monitored more closely to make sure they are taking their meds, looking for side effects and that the meds are working. These guys won't have that when they are moved to the GP. PLUS, the mentally ill often don't have a good concept of personal space and other things that our loved ones hold dear. This could be setting them up for getting hurt through no fault of their own other than their mentall illness prevents them from being aware!


02-12-2004, 07:46 AM
WOW Mrs D I didn't even think of that. YOu mean they won't be as closely monitored where there sending them? Well that's not cool at all!!


02-12-2004, 07:54 AM
In a mental health setting, the Nurses passing medications make SURE that the patients swallow their meds. The staff are always trained on what to look for in side effects and when you see the same patient day after day, you get to know them well and can tell if their meds are working - I'll BET you the C/O's aren't given this type of training nor are they going to "get to know" these inmates.

I'm going to ask Mr. D about how often does he get his medication ( he doesn't get psych meds but I'm going to check out the procedure for all meds if I can find out). Can you imagine someone who has had a nurse hand them their meds regularly 2-4 times a day now in the GP and being handed a weeks worth of meds all at once or the whole days meds for that matter! I sure hope I'm wrong on this, but I forsee lots of problems for these poor folk!


02-15-2004, 10:20 PM
Wow thanks for the update I'm still in shock after I had heard awhile back that they were wanting to build a third prison for women....

02-21-2004, 06:28 AM
They are closing Western Wayne not Robert Scott. Western Wayne is a minimum security prison. The inmate we visit at Scott's said she heard Western Wayne was built on a toxic waste site and alot of the inmates were sick. Don't know if that is true or a rumor she heard.

12-19-2008, 01:12 PM
I was in prison for 2 1/2 years i did 2 years at scotts in plymouth & now they are closeing that prison & moveing the ladies to that dump out in ypsilanti Huron valley mens. If they have to close a prison it should be Huron valley womens I had to be out there for 6 months the place is a dump & most of the officer that work there are so ghetto & the most unprofessional people i have ever run across.They need to close that place & send them ghetto ass officers to work in the mens prisons. Maybe that would help change their attitudes. Its so said being in prison sucks but dealing with them biches sucks worse!!!!!!

vanillia cookie
12-19-2008, 01:30 PM
the thread you posted to is over 3 years old