New Flint lock-up underused while county jail overcrowded - WNEM TV 5

New Flint lock-up underused while county jail overcrowded

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

After opening two months ago, the Flint lock-up has not seen near the action expected, most times operating at below 25 percent capacity.

According to Genesee County Sheriff's Major Phil Hart, the jail has not seen more than 23 inmates at one time and averages about nine inmates a day.

Meanwhile, the Genesee County jail has remained over capacity for quite some time and 175 inmates had to be released in September because of overcrowding.

One of the reasons for the disparity is the classification of inmates.  Most people convicted of felonies are to be lodged in the county jail, while most people convicted of misdemeanors are to be housed in the lock-up.

Public Safety Administrator Barnett Jones said misdemeanor arrests are precisely the kinds of arrests officers have been looking to make since the facility closed back in 2008.

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

Flint Police Chief Alvern Lock said the city and county are working on ways to improve the lock-up.

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