By RALPH ANSAMI
Marenisco â As the effort to keep the Ojibway prison in Marenisco from closing as scheduled on Dec. 1 continues, the potential effects are being felt in many ways, including among manâs best friends.
Inmates at the prison for months have been providing foster care for the Chequamegon Humane Association in Ashland, training dogs in their care.
That arrangement comes to an end when the prison closes.
Training dogs at the prison actually dates to 2014, or earlier, when dogs from the HOPE animal shelter were staying at the Ojibway Correctional Facility, being trained by inmates right in their prison cells.
The inmatesâ training prepared the dogs for adoption to the general public. It not only helped the dogs, but gave the inmates a sense of purpose while serving their sentences.
The HOPE board organized the effort in 2014 with then Ojibway warden Linda Tribley, who said a similar program was successful at the Alger Correctional Facility.
The program with HOPE eventually branched out to the involvement with the Ashland area humane association.
Marenisco Township is suing to stop the closure, saying the state didnât do an economic impact study as required by law before deciding to close the prison.
The Michigan Department of Corrections in August announced plans to shut down Ojibway.
Many of the Ojibway inmates have already been transferred to other facilities.