federal prison

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

Update: The story has been updated to include GEO Group's response.

In an early morning stand-off, three protesters were arrested as they tried to block employees from entering a prison set to open on Tuesday that will hold immigrants convicted of crimes. 

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

In less than two weeks, a prison housing immigrants will open in northern Michigan. 

Private prison operator GEO Group won the contract from the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to hold inmates convicted of federal crimes at their North Lake Correctional Facility in Baldwin. 

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A former juvenile corrections facility in Baldwin could become a prison for immigrants. 

In a press release, State Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) said the current owners of the shuttered North Lake Correctional Facility received a 10-year federal contract. It would allow Geo Group, Inc. to hold non-U.S. citizens for immigration offenses and other crimes.

VanderWall says it would bring more than 300 jobs to the area.

All this week, we’re looking at juvenile lifers in Michigan -- those inmates sentenced to mandatory life without the possibility of parole for crimes committed when they were minors.

Michigan ranks second in the number of prisoners who fit this classification. There are more than 360 juvenile lifers in Michigan, and a series of U.S. Supreme Court cases has meant that Michigan has to take a second look at the sentences these inmates were given.