updated 6/5/2009 12:37:23 PM ET 2009-06-05T16:37:23

Michigan officials say three prisons will close this year, along with five minimum-security prison camps, to save more than $118 million.

More than 1,000 corrections employees will be affected. Department of Corrections officials said Friday they'll try to move as many employees as possible into vacant positions at other prisons.

The prison population peaked at 51,454 in 2006. But since then, the number of inmates has fallen to under 48,000. The number of criminals entering prison dropped 9 percent in 2008, according to state figures.

Prisons in Muskegon, Standish and Kincheloe will close between Aug. 1 and Nov. 30. The prison camps to close are in Shingleton, Painesdale, Iron River, Grayling and White Lake.

The eight locations cost $118 million to run.

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