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.
BREAKING: “This is our infrastructure issue we have to solve. A millage is the way to do that. We have to setup our staff to succeed, and need to provide a safe, updated facility for a jail.” Macomb Co. Executive Mark Hackel discusses need to build new jail. @wxyzdetroit pic.twitter.com/6p802WgKwF— Simon Shaykhet WXYZ (@simonshaykhet) July 1, 2019
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.
BREAKING: Macomb Sheriff Wickersham & Exec. Hackel are urging the community to learn about benefits of new jail, to make for improved rehabilitation. Also, to better address mental health & drug abuse. Avg. homeowner cost would be about $98/year. @wxyzdetroit #12PM pic.twitter.com/7CxqC7nzLe— Simon Shaykhet WXYZ (@simonshaykhet) July 1, 2019
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.
BREAKING: Nect step is to educate the public. Full Macomb Co. Board meets July 25th, and can move to put jail facility on ballot. Sheriff says costs will rise the longer the county waits. A millage could be on the ballot this upcoming Nov. or Aug. 2020. @wxyzdetroit #12PM pic.twitter.com/kQ9vCMnWp7— Simon Shaykhet WXYZ (@simonshaykhet) July 1, 2019