Sheriff proposes $36 million plan to build new jail - WNEM TV 5

Sheriff proposes $36 million plan to build new jail

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A local sheriff is trying to make headway with a proposal to build a jail to replace the aging, leaky one he currently uses.

Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel pitched his idea to the Saginaw County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday. His plan would spend $36 million on a building just west of the current facility. He said it would cost more than $40 million to renovate the current jail.

His plan would keep the current number of beds at more than 500, but fewer officers to run it.

"Some people may wonder, 'How in the world could we reduce our staff and have nearly the same amount of inmates?' But Muskegon County and many jails across our state and across the country have jails that are not linear. They're not linear bar style of jail. They're direct supervision," Federspiel said.

Direct supervision jails have clusters of cells surrounding a living area that is overseen by an officer.

Federspiel said the jail would be financed by a bond, which would be paid for by the money saved by having fewer people on staff.

"We would try to minimize the pain that we would feel on that, but that's how we would make that bond payment," he said.

He said if every single thing fell into place they could break ground this time next year and be up and running two years later.

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