The prison in Baldwin will remain closed for now. Michigan will not allow the privately run, for-profit prison in northern Michigan to house about a thousand inmates because there would be no savings to taxpayers.
The state turned down two bids. In both cases, the contracts would have cost more than what the state pays right now.
The Florida-based GEO Group was hoping to re-open an empty prison it owns in the town of Baldwin. Utah-based Management and Training Corporation also submitted a bid.
Governor Rick Snyder signed the law to bid out prison services over the objections of unions and inmate advocates. They say for-profit corrections facilities are not a bargain and are less safe than state-run prisons. Republican lawmakers say they were trying to find savings in one of the most-expensive parts of the state budget.
The state is going ahead with plans to privatize prison food services. That should be completed by early December.