AFSCME's Garrett: Legislature's Failure to Act Places Public at Risk

Jan 11, 2010, 15:07 ET from Michigan AFSCME Council 25

Juvenile Sex Offenders will be Released Unsupervised

LANSING, Mich., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Albert Garrett, President of Michigan Council 25 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO, issued the following statement:

"Because the Michigan Legislature has failed to approve a transfer of funds within the Department of Human Services, the Department will be forced to close two halfway houses and a residential treatment center," stated Garrett. "Pine Lodge in Lansing, Academy Hall in Kalamazoo, and the Nokomis Challenge Center in Prudenville are slated for closure on January 15, 2010.

"This closure will displace a total of 36 or more juvenile offenders -- including violent offenders, sex offenders and substance abusers -- and 44 employees represented by AFSCME," continued Garrett. "This closure is completely unnecessary, and could be readily avoided if only the Legislature would act to authorize the transfer of funds which have already been appropriated.

"The closure of these three facilities will send some of these juvenile offenders to homeless shelters, and will release sex offenders into our communities unsupervised," concluded Garrett. "The responsibility clearly lies with House Appropriations Chair George Cushingberry, Jr. (D-8) and Senate Appropriations Chair Ron Jelinek (R-21) as well as Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee Chairs Rep. Dudley Spade (D-57) and Sen. Bill Hardiman (R-29). Governor Granholm has already sent a transfer request, and the money has already been found and appropriated. If these facilities close, and tragedy ensues, we must ask these legislators why they did not act on the transfer request."

Albert Garrett is also Michigan Vice President for AFSCME International. Michigan AFSCME Council 25 represents more than 90,000 public workers across Michigan. AFSCME International represents 1.4 million public workers nationwide. News releases issued by Michigan AFSCME Council 25 are available at

SOURCE Michigan AFSCME Council 25