Efforts underway for Marquette County Jail improvements

Efforts underway for Marquette County Jail improvements

The Marquette County Jail could see improvements in the near future.

The county wants to close the Mangum Farm Detention Facility because the cost of running the property is getting too expensive to operate.

Preliminary plans are to move those inmates to the county jail.  The county hired three firms to come up with plans for a new arrangement.

“If we can get the jail space in one spot at the county instead of two spots we would save money with operating efficiencies,” Marquette County Board Commissioner and space needs committee member Bruce Heikkila said.

“What we’re going to do is arrange the current layout of the jail.  And what they (the three firms) have come up with some real good ideas that will actually save money, such as double bunking.  We can expand the size of some of the existing cells and do double bunking and it’ll increase the capacity.”

“I don’t think any of the jails in the area are sufficient anymore, they’re all outdated, the designs are outdated, and they pretty much need to be updated,” Marquette County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Seven Holman said.

“I think having the correct types of cells in the most important and that way we can classify our inmates properly and house them where the need to be housed.  We need some isolation cell space, a place where we can segregate inmates, and we need an infirmary with the mental health issues we’re having today (with inmates).”

The county jail currently holds 80 inmates, and there are three phases that include a different number of additional beds and layouts.

The plans are still in the preliminary stages.

“We’re not necessarily going to do all these phases,” Heikkila said.  “We might do one, we might do two but we’re studying the feasibility right now.”

“Once they bring back cost estimates, we’ll hopefully present it to the whole board and the whole board would make a decision.  When the do get the cost estimates we also have to get funding.”

Heikkila said county staff will look into where the county can find funding, and how much it can afford for the project.