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What is Bay Pines Center?

June 4, 2012
Daily Press

EDITOR:

Bay Pines Center is a 40 bed secure treatment/detention center serving male and female youth, ages 12-21, and is located in Escanaba, Mich. It was opened in 1994. These clients are not eligible for foster placement and are there because other treatment plans have not been successful. At this time there is a bill pending to close this very successful facility.

Bay Pines has operated on the same budget since 2010 without an increase. They are the cheapest facility in the entire state at a cost of $385.95 per diem with Moxey Training School downstate operating at $572.54 per diem.

All youth have individual, secure rooms equipped with bed, shelves, desk, bench, toilet, sink and window. Bay Pines is the only state facility operated residential facility serving the needs for secure placement of female youth.

A valid court order is required for placement and dentition is a short term placement pending court action.

Services provided are as follows:

1. Assessment services

2. Behavior health services

3. Educational services

4. Family treatment services

5. Delinquency treatment services

6. Substance abuse education and treatment

7. Restorative justice services

8. Community reentry planning and services

9. High school completion through Escanaba High School

10. Bay Colleges courses

11. Vocational educational courses and employability skill and training

12. Mental and dental health services

13. Recreation services

14. Special events such as family picnics, Christmas dinner, prom

Bay Pines center has a CAC (Community Advisory Committee) which meets on a monthly basis. The committee provides support for various programs and receives up-to-date information on the daily operations of the facility. The CAC also serves as an advisory to the Director, Dane Ross, on the center.

There are 44 local people employed there. These people need to keep their jobs and also support the community. Closing Bay Pines will not save taxpayers the cost of operation. That money will just be funneled downstate. Children currently placed there are mostly felony offenders and will have to be placed in other facilities that are licensed for secure care which are located in southeast Michigan. We expect jobs to be kept and created in the U.P. We want children with behavioral problems that require secure residential treatment in the U.P. not in Flint or Detroit.

Some highlights of what our residents of Bay Pines Center have done:

- Red Cross Blood Drive

- Worked at national walleye tournament

- Deliver commodities to women's shelter

- Highway clean-up

- Raking/shoveling for elderly

- Raise money through an annual rummage sale

- Participate in the culinary arts class

- Halloween funhouse for small children

- Hand-bell choir performances

Many of our nonprofit agencies are served by our children here. Most children here are transferred to Bay Pines by court order. Jails and prison are not the answer for our younger youth and private placement has not helped.

The Community Advisory Committee urges everyone to contact Sen. Tom Casperson and Rep. Ed McBroom to vote no on these bills. It was referred to as HB 5734 but congress can change the number as it moves through Congress.

Sue Malenfant

Wells

(CAC member since 2006)

 
 

 

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