Lawmaker Seeks to Streamline Sale of Former Ojibway Correctional Facility

Sep 18, 2020

Ojibway Correctional Facility.
Credit Michigan Department of Corrections

A Michigan state Senator wants to make it easier for the state to sell a closed prison in the Upper Peninsula.

Ojibway Correctional Facility in Marenisco closed two years ago, and 203 people lost their jobs.

“It’s really been a pretty serious blow to the local economy and to the local community, to families, to schools,” said Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Waucedah).

Now, McBroom is sponsoring a bill that would streamline the sale of the property.

“There have been several people who expressed some interest, whether it be for manufacturing or some sort of growing-type operation,” McBroom said. “There’s been some interest, and we want to make sure that if those ideas come to fruition, that the state is not hindering the sale of it.”

The Marenisco community fought hard against the closure of the prison, and would likely support a new venture on the property.

“The facility continues to be ideally situated for some sort of secure holding facility, whether the state wanted it for a prison, or there was some use at the federal level or some other state, I still believe that’s its first best use,” McBroom said.

He thinks the facility could also work as a counseling center, a manufacturing facility, or even be used for agriculture.

Of the more than 200 people laid off when the prison closed, 19 were from Wisconsin.