ST. JOHNS, Michigan — It's been 30 years since the Clinton County Jail was built, and county officials say it's time for an update.
"The commissioners... they decided to do a comprehensive facility master plan update and primarily looking at our courthouse and the Townsend Road facilities," Clinton County Administrator Controller Craig Longnecker said.
While the infrastructure committee found the Clinton County Courthouse has another 20 years before it will need major renovations, "what we found on the Townsend Road campus is pretty much what we already knew, that our public safety facility needed to be looked at," Longnecker said.
He anticipates more technology will be needed in the jail.
"The characteristics, demographics of our inmates over the last 30 years has changed considerably and we're looking at a higher percentage of female inmates. We're looking at inmates with more physical and mental health issues," Longnecker said. "The State Court Administrator's Office is pushing technology down on the courts. So, we anticipate they'll be more remote hearings."
The initial ballpark estimate for the renovation? $38 million. But, Longnecker doesn't think it will be that much.
"It's going to be refined and fine-tuned," he said.
A $100,000 comprehensive study starts this month, collecting surveys from county jail staff. Come January, an architect will start drawing up plans.
Clinton County Sheriff Larry Jerue said he expects more space for isolation, updated technology and improved air quality will all be things to consider for the renovation.
"I mean there's really three possibilities," Longnecker said. "There's a renovation of the existing facility, there's an expansion/renovation of the current facility and then there's a new facility. We'll have a much better idea mid-summer next year."
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