Camp Kitwen Scrapped as New Home for Sheriff

Some areas of the U.P. are looking at re-using closed state prison camps for other purposes.

One of the most popular choices is as a jail — Marquette County’s already doing that at what was once Mangum Farm in Harvey.

But the Houghton County Board shoots down the possibility of re-working Camp Kitwen in Painesdale.

They’d been thinking about moving the Sheriff’s Department there, along with the county jail and the county work camp.

But they’ve found that not only would it be expensive, it would also mean breaking the law.

Michigan’s constitution says all county sheriffs’ main offices have to be in the seats of their respective counties.

That means the department can’t leave Houghton.

Estimates on converting the camp came back at nearly $5.5 million.

State budget cuts forced Camp Kitwen to close back in July.