The West Shoreline Correctional Facility in Muskegon, which was built in 1984 will be permanently closing its doors and shutting down in March. The reason for this was given by MDOC Director Heidi Washington who said it was because of a significant decline in the prison population statewide.

According to MDOC, over the past three years, the state’s prison population has declined by more than 7 percent.  These numbers implemented renewed focus on prisoner education and vocational training to the declining inmate population. For the first time in over than 20 years, the entire state's inmate population was lower than 40,000.

Washington expressed her gratitude to the Prison's staff to Local 4 Detroit:

We’re grateful for all the hard work of West Shoreline staff and will continue to support them as we wind down operations at the facility. Closures are challenging, but this represents a step in the right direction as we focus on giving offenders the skills they need to be successful in the community so they do not return to prison.

At its peak, Michigan housed 51,554 prisoners in March of 2007. Since 2005, MDOC has either closed or consolidated 26 facilities and camps. Michigan has one of the lowest rates of criminals convicted who re-offend in the country at 29.8 percent. Let's hope these numbers continue to decline. Currently, the prison houses 1,245 prisoners who will no doubt be transferred to another prison or prisons, which have not been announced at this time.