The start of state government’s 2016 budget year Oct. 1 marked the controversial end of the boys training school in Green Oak, shuttering three state-run juvenile justice facilities and upending of 65 state employee jobs. … Maxey staff worked with judges to reassign the youth to the remaining two state facilities and to independent living facilities, halfway houses and private facilities. … Of the 65 Maxey employees, Wheaton said 19 were laid off, nine retired and 37 were transferred to other state government positions. Eleven of those laid off are eligible for retirement and could still file the necessary paperwork. … AFSCME and other state employee unions question the Legislature’s claims of how much money could be saved, noting that the school routinely costs less to run than the Legislature appropriates and hasn’t been filled to capacity. Funding unemployment benefits for any laid off employees and claims on retirement benefits also would cut into the savings, Ciaramitaro said. …
Dozens of state-worker jobs at stake in budget proposal
Source: Justin A. Hinkley, Lansing State Journal, April 27, 2015
State worker unions and others are fighting a budget proposal that would eliminate nearly half the state’s publicly run residential juvenile justice slots and put dozens of state jobs at stake.
A state Senate budget bill for the Department of Health & Human Services would close the W.J. Maxey Boys Training School in Whitmore Lake, a 60-bed facility for juvenile offenders ages 12 to 21. The state House and Gov. Rick Snyder would keep the facility open, though they would trim spending to reflect lower-than-expected costs at the facility. …. But that’s simply untrue, argued state Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, the vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee who championed the closure. He mentioned two of the state’s private juvenile justice partners, Spectrum Human Services and Wolverine Human Services, who have facilities similar to Maxey and who, MacGregor said, have signaled a willingness to take on Maxey youth. …. Others — including Ciaramitaro, Burghardt and state Sen. Vincent Gregory, D-Southfield, who serves on the same committees as MacGregor — doubt private facilities can or will pick up the slack. ….