Downsized staff at Detroit Reentry Center concerns neighbors

Downsized staff at Detroit Reentry Center concerns neighbors

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Those who live near the former Ryan Correctional Facility tell Fox 2 they never see guards in the towers overlooking the grounds. Those who live near the former Ryan Correctional Facility tell Fox 2 they never see guards in the towers overlooking the grounds.
DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -

When it opened in 1991 on Detroit's east side, the Ryan Correctional Facility housed some of Michigan's most violent offenders on 39 acres.

In 2012, Ryan was renamed the Detroit Reentry Center. Convicts who violate the terms of their parole are now sent there. The two most common parole violations are drinking alcohol and not reporting an address. Now, those returned to custody go to Ryan Road.

When the state took over, they slashed the staff in half. Now, those who live nearby have safety concerns.

"I actually worry about the kids that go to high school at Pershing," a concerned neighbor said. "They have to walk past here every morning and every day when they get out of school. They never know when something's going to happen to them."

One of the prison's symbols of safety are the guard towers overlooking the facility. For more than 20 years, armed guards were visible in what the neighbors call "gun towers." However, neighbors say they never see anyone in the towers anymore.

The state tells us there are approximately 75 prisoners and that many of them are on dialysis. They receive medical treatment and they were carefully screened to participate in a youth deterrent program. The parolees counsel kids who get out of line, advising them on how to stay out of trouble.

The Department of Corrections says that Mayor Bing and the police chief were in favor of this system, but that does not soothe everyone who lives nearby.

"There may be rapists. They might be in a low security place and parolees, before they let rapists out, they bring them to places like this," another concerned neighbor said.

The Detroit Reentry Center began taking parolees in October 2012.

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