LANSING — This morning, Department of Corrections Director Heidi Washington announced that she will close the Ojibway Correctional Facility in Marenisco in Gogebic County on Dec. 1. In response, state Rep. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit), Democratic vice chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Corrections, issued the following statement:

            “The loss of more than 200 jobs at the Ojibway Correctional Facility is devastating for the families and the economy of the western Upper Peninsula. This closure will affect more than just those working at the prison; it will severely impact all of the community jobs that support those who work at the prison. From grocery stores to gas stations, restaurants to hotels, this closure will be felt by all of the surrounding communities of the Ojibway Correctional Facility. The Snyder administration and legislative Republicans need to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions; there should be no rest until the affected employees have been placed in comparable positions that do not include an impossible 100-mile drive one way. I will be staying in close contact with MDOC to make sure that all of the employees are assisted in finding alternative employment.”