Macomb County planning new $370 million jail project

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The sheriff's office is working with county commissioners on a man for a new jail, $370 million is the price tag. 

The Macomb County sheriff Anthony Wickersham says the time has come for the county to build a new jail facility. 

He says the current structure, built in the 1950s with additions in '60s, '70s and '90s, is insufficient for the volumes and types of prisoners they see. 

"A lot of medical issues - we don't have the medical beds," Wickersham said. "We have a big mental health issue (and) we don't have proper mental health beds."

And the current building isn't it up for the modern standards for supervision.

"The officers are going back again, every hour or less to go check on the inmates," Wickersham said. "The inmates know when we're coming and they know when we're gone. 

"The bad things that are happening, are happening in between those times and there is no direct line of sight, no direct supervision."

He says a new facility would allow space for more programs, which would serve the community at large.

"We have to do a better job here of trying to provide some services, some education or some skills that when they leave here, they can go get a job and not going out and terrorize, rob, steal from our community," Wickersham said. "Everything I’m doing is trying to make this place bester and safer and not only for the inmates but also for my staff. it has a lot of challenges." 

A new Macomb County jail facility would take three years to build and would he located on the same site as the existing facility in Mount Clemens. It would eventually house 600 inmates with the potential for 300 additional beds with expansions. 

The current facility houses just under 1,200 inmates.