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How Many Prisons Are In Kingston Michigan?

Kingston is a small city located in Tuscola County, Michigan. With a population of just over 3,000 residents, Kingston does not have any state or federal prisons located within its city limits. However, there are several correctional facilities located nearby in neighboring counties and towns.

Correctional Facilities Near Kingston

While there are no prisons directly in Kingston, there are a few located within a short drive of the city. Here are some of the closest correctional institutions to Kingston:

Thumb Correctional Facility

  • Location: Lapeer, MI
  • Distance from Kingston: About 45 miles southwest
  • Security Level: Level I and II
  • Capacity: Approx. 1,200 inmates

Thumb Correctional Facility is a state-run prison that houses lower-security male inmates. It offers vocational, educational, and rehabilitative programs.

Parnall Correctional Facility

  • Location: Jackson, MI
  • Distance from Kingston: About 65 miles southeast
  • Security Level: Level I and II
  • Capacity: Approx. 1,700 inmates

Parnall is another state-run correctional facility that houses minimum and medium security male prisoners. It provides education, training, and treatment programs.

Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility

  • Location: Ypsilanti, MI
  • Distance from Kingston: About 85 miles southeast
  • Security Level: Various levels
  • Capacity: Approx. 2,000 inmates

This is Michigan’s largest prison for women. It houses inmates of all security levels and offers a variety of rehabilitative and educational programs.

Carson City Correctional Facility

  • Location: Carson City, MI
  • Distance from Kingston: About 35 miles west
  • Security Level: Levels I, II, IV
  • Capacity: Around 2,500 inmates

This large state facility houses minimum, medium, and maximum security prisoners. It provides vocational, academic, and treatment programming.

Saginaw Correctional Facility

  • Location: Freeland, MI
  • Distance from Kingston: About 60 miles north
  • Security Level: Level II
  • Capacity: Around 1,900 inmates

This state prison houses medium security male prisoners and provides educational, vocational and treatment programs.

Kinross Correctional Facility

  • Location: Kincheloe, MI
  • Distance from Kingston: About 115 miles north
  • Security Level: Levels I and II
  • Capacity: Around 1,200 inmates

Kinross is one of the farther correctional facilities from Kingston. It houses minimum and medium security prisoners and provides various rehabilitation programs.

So while Kingston itself does not have any prisons within its boundaries, there are quite a few located within 1-2 hours driving distance in the surrounding regions of Michigan. Many of these facilities house over 1,000 inmates each.

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Recent Michigan Prison Closures

In recent years, Michigan has closed down some of its correctional facilities as part of criminal justice reforms and attempts to reduce prison populations. Here are a few notable Michigan prison closures:

  • West Shoreline Correctional Facility – Located in Muskegon Heights, closed in 2016. Had capacity for over 900 inmates.
  • Pugsley Correctional Facility – Located in Kingsley, closed in 2016. Had capacity for around 1,200 inmates.
  • Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility – Located in Mount Pleasant, closed 2019. Had capacity for over 1,500 inmates.
  • Ojibway Correctional Facility – Located in Marenisco, closed 2019. Had capacity for nearly 1,000 inmates.

The closure of these four facilities reduced Michigan’s prison capacity by over 5,500 inmates. However, most other state facilities remain open, including the ones nearest to Kingston.

Challenges Facing Michigan Prisons

Michigan’s Department of Corrections faces various challenges in operating and maintaining its prison system:

  • Overcrowding – Many Michigan prisons continue to be over capacity, creating dangerous and tense environments.
  • Staffing shortages – Corrections officers and other staff positions can be difficult to fill, leading to understaffing issues.
  • Budget constraints – Funding prison operations, programs, maintenance and improvements is an ongoing struggle.
  • Health care – Providing adequate physical and mental health treatment to inmates poses challenges.
  • Infrastructure – Many prisons require updating and renovation of aging facilities.
  • Programming – Offering effective rehabilitation, education and training to inmates to reduce recidivism rates.
  • Violence – Managing violence, gang activity and contraband inside facilities.

Michigan will need to continue addressing these issues to maintain safe, rehabilitative and cost-effective prisons. The closure of some facilities has aimed to help reduce overcrowding challenges.

Comparison of Michigan’s Incarceration Rate

Here is how Michigan’s incarceration rate compares nationally:

  • Michigan’s incarceration rate: 641 per 100,000 residents
  • National average incarceration rate: 639 per 100,000 residents
  • Highest state incarceration rate: Oklahoma at 1,079 per 100,000
  • Lowest state incarceration rate: Massachusetts at 298 per 100,000

So Michigan’s incarceration rate is right around the national average. The state incarcerates slightly more people than the country as a whole, but far fewer than states with the highest incarceration rates like Oklahoma and Louisiana.

Michigan’s inmate population has declined in recent years from over 51,000 in 2006 to under 40,000 in 2018, helping bring down the incarceration rate. But it remains above the rates in northeastern and western states.

Prison Population Statistics for Michigan

Here are some key statistics on Michigan’s prison population as of 2020:

  • Total prison population: 34,900
  • Male prison population: 30,500 (87%)
  • Female prison population: 4,400 (13%)
  • Average age of inmates: 42 years old
  • Average minimum sentence: 4 years
  • Average maximum sentence: 22 years
  • Most common offenses:
    • Drug offenses: 21%
    • Assault: 13%
    • Murder: 13%
    • Sexual offenses: 12%
    • Weapons offenses: 10%
  • Percent over capacity: 96%

Michigan’s total prison population peaked at over 51,000 in 2006. The almost 35,000 inmates in 2020 shows a significant reduction over the past 15 years. However, most facilities remain over the originally designed capacity.

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Employment Opportunities in Michigan Prisons

Operating Michigan’s prisons requires thousands of employees to maintain security, deliver services, and provide programming. Here are some of the most common jobs within the state prison system:

  • Corrections officers – Provide security and maintain order. Require a high school diploma and corrections officer certification. Median salary around $50,000.
  • Food service managers – Oversee prison kitchen and meal operations. Require a high school diploma and prior food service experience. Median salary around $48,000.
  • Counselors – Develop rehabilitation and release plans for inmates. Require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in psychology, social work or counseling. Median salary around $48,000.
  • Teachers – Provide academic instruction to inmates. Require a bachelor’s degree and teaching certification. Median salary around $56,000.
  • Nurses – Deliver medical and mental health services. Require an RN degree and nursing license. Median salary around $67,000.
  • Maintenance technicians – Maintain the physical plant of prisons. Require vocational training in fields like HVAC, electrical, and plumbing. Median salary around $48,000.

So while no prisons exist in Kingston itself, the facilities within driving distance employ thousands of Michigan residents in a variety of roles. Correctional officers make up the bulk of the workforce.

Efforts to Prepare Inmates for Release

Michigan provides various programs and services within prisons aimed at helping inmates successfully reenter society upon release:

  • Education – literacy classes, high school equivalency, vocational training. Helps inmates gain skills and employment prospects.
  • Substance abuse treatment – counseling programs like AA and NA. Addresses addiction issues tied to criminal behavior.
  • Mental health care – treatment from psychologists and psychiatrists. Manages conditions like depression and bipolar disorder.
  • Job training – instruction in trades like small engine repair and welding. Provides marketable skills.
  • Transitional housing – some halfway houses to temporarily live post-release. Eases the transition.
  • Community resources – assistance in applying for state aid, health insurance and other benefits. Helps former inmates get established.
  • Parole – intensive supervision for first months after prison. Support for finding a job and housing.

However, recidivism rates remain high, indicating difficulties in successful reentry. About 26% of Michigan prisoners return to custody within 3 years. So there remains room for improvement in reentry programs.

Recent Incidents in Michigan Prisons

Michigan’s state prisons have seen some notable incidents over the past few years:

January 2020200 inmates involved in fightMuskegon Correctional Facility
April 2019Food service employee taken hostageKinross Correctional Facility
May 201812 employees hospitalized after possible exposure to opioidG. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility
March 20174 corrections officers assaulted by inmateMichigan Reformatory Prison
July 20168 inmates dead from drug overdosesVarious prisons

These incidents illustrate some of the dangers and risks in managing large prison populations, including inmate violence and contraband issues. However, Michigan’s prisons have seen declines in major disturbances compared to previous decades.

Oversight of Michigan Prisons

There are a few different agencies and organizations that oversee Michigan’s state prisons:

  • Michigan Department of Corrections – State agency the runs all prisons. Sets policies and procedures for facility operation and inmate management.
  • Legislature Corrections Ombudsmen – Independent investigators who handle complaints against Corrections Department. Monitor conditions within prisons.
  • Citizens Advisory Councils – Panels of civilians in each corrections region. Provide outside perspective and input on prisons.
  • Correctional Facilities Advisory Board – Governor-appointed group that conducts studies and advises the Corrections Department.
  • Michigan Corrections Organization – Labor union representing over 15,000 corrections officers and other prison employees. Advocates for staff.
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This oversight is aimed at ensuring Michigan prisons follow laws and regulations. It also provides some avenues for inmate complaints and attempts to improve conditions.

How many prisons are located directly in Kingston?

There are currently no state or federal prisons located within the city limits of Kingston. The city is considered too small and rural to host a major correctional facility.

What are some of the closest prisons to Kingston?

Some of the major prisons located within around 1 hour’s drive of Kingston include Thumb Correctional Facility, Carson City Correctional Facility, Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility, and Saginaw Correctional Facility. Each houses over 1,000 inmates.

Has Michigan closed any prisons in recent years?

Yes, since 2016 Michigan has closed down 4 prisons – West Shoreline Correctional Facility, Pugsley Correctional Facility, Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility, and Ojibway Correctional Facility. This reduced Michigan’s total prison capacity by around 5,500 inmates.

How does Michigan’s incarceration rate compare with other states?

Michigan’s incarceration rate of 641 per 100,000 residents is around the national average of 639 per 100,000. It incarcerates slightly more people than the country as a whole, but far less than states like Oklahoma and Louisiana with the highest rates.

What jobs are available within Michigan’s prison system?

Major jobs include corrections officers, food service managers, counselors, teachers, nurses, and maintenance technicians. Corrections officers make up the largest segment of the prison workforce. Most jobs require at least a high school diploma.

How could Michigan better prepare inmates for release back into society?

Experts recommend expanded vocational and educational training, more transitional housing, enhanced mental health treatment, increased funding for parole programs, and improved partnerships with local businesses to help hire former inmates. Lowering recidivism rates remains a challenge.

What oversight exists for Michigan’s prisons?

Oversight is provided by the Michigan Dept of Corrections, the Legislature’s Ombudsmen, Citizens Advisory Councils, the Correctional Facilities Advisory Board, and employee groups like the Michigan Corrections Organization. This aims to ensure prisons follow laws and procedures.


In summary, while Kingston itself contains no prisons, the city is within close proximity to numerous correctional facilities that house over 1,000 inmates each. Recent closures have reduced Michigan’s prison population and overcrowding issues in some facilities. However, most prisons continue operating over capacity. Oversight boards, citizen councils, and employee groups advocate for improvements to Michigan’s prison system. Reentry programs for inmates remain a work in progress as recidivism rates are still high. Overall, managing a network of aging prisons and their inmate populations poses ongoing challenges for Michigan corrections officials.

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