Alleged criminals 'surprised' by Flint lockup reopening - WNEM TV 5

Alleged criminals 'surprised' by Flint lockup reopening

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It's a new day in Flint when it comes to crime. The lockup is now back open for business.

"I'm quite sure there was some people that said they've heard that before, but this time it opened up, so there was some people that were shocked and surprised," said Public Safety Administrator Barnett Jones.

He says 29 inmates have been brought to the lockup since it reopened on Monday. That number dropped to 18 inmates as of Wednesday morning. The lockup can hold up to 110 people.

"Most of those have been misdemeanor arrests," Jones explained.

He says misdemeanor arrests are precisely the kinds of arrests officers have been looking to make since the facility closed back in 2008.

"We have people that have, since 2008, have not had to pay, realistically, any consequences for their actions," he added.

Knowing the city can now take action against all criminals is comforting news for Flint residents like Barbara Fair.

"It does make me feel a little bit better that they do have the lockup open," she said.

Inmates can only be held in the jail for a maximum of 72 hours. Barnett Jones says that's plenty of time to get them before a judge to face their punishment.

"I would like to see this as a smooth process, with all the people that have been up to criminal activity in our community, paying the consequences for their actions," Jones said.

Flint area criminal defense attorney Torchio Feaster is applauding that fact.

"Hopefully they'll {alleged criminals} take from it that committing crime does not pay. You will be spending time in lockup," Feaster said.

Flint received $2.5 million through the governor's public safety initiative to reopen the lockup. But that funding will only last one year.

At the conclusion of Wednesday's news conference, both Public Safety Administrator Barnett Jones and Emergency Financial Manager Ed Kurtz made a public plea to the governor for him to fund the lockup for at least three years.

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