A state-run juvenile detention center is slated to be closed under a plan before the Michigan House Appropriations Committee.
Closing the Maxey Boys Training School in Livingston County would save about $8 million.
State Representative Peter MacGregor, R-Cannon Twp., chairs the budget subcommittee which recommended the closure.
"The state facility runs at about roughly a 40% capacity at Maxey, and I just believe that this is an inefficient use of public tax dollars," he said.
MacGregor said there are two other public facilities and at least two private ones that could take the 31 boys at Maxey. He said these facilities cost half to one third as much per youth as Maxey.
MacGregor hopes Maxey could be repurposed for youth convicted as adults.
But State Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, said the closing is premature. "Let's keep Maxey open, and let's have a further conversation about what's going to happen to these young people because I'm not at all convinced we have a better alternative for them."
Tlaib said there has not been enough time to determine if there are available spaces at facilities with programs needed by the Maxey residents.
– Virginia Gordan, Michigan Radio Newsroom