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New jail proposal being discussed by Macomb County executive and sheriff

Posted at 5:12 PM, Jul 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-01 17:37:08-04

MACOMB COUNTY (WXYZ) — The Macomb County Sheriff says the Macomb County Jail, built in the 50s, is no longer a good option for inmates, when you take into account the need for effective rehabilitation and safety of officers.

On a trip inside the facility, deputies gave an up close look at a 65-year-old cell block that's normally filled with inmates.

The sheriff and county executive are highlighting what they call a desperate need for both an updated building and improved facilities to accommodate better supervision. There's also a lack of mental health and substance abuse help available.

Often continuing to house nearly 1,500 inmates poses a risk to officer and inmate safety. It continues to cost taxpayers with ongoing repairs. With board approval, a 20-year, .98 mill county tax would provide for a new $371 million jail to be built on the same property, with more than 1,500 beds.

The cost would be roughly $98 per year for each homeowner.

On the streets of Macomb County, Action News found differing opinions among taxpayers about funding the project and where it falls on a priority list.

Keep in mind, public studies have already determined a better facility is required.

The Macomb County board will officially weigh in on this by the end of July. From that point, if they support it, the proposal could go on the ballot as early as November.