Voters say no to new jail

Voters say no to new jail

ESCANABA — The proposal to build a new jail facility in Delta County came up short by just under two dozen votes in Tuesday’s election.

The nearly twenty million dollar bond would have funded the construction of a new sheriff’s office and correctional facility at the Delta County Service Center. A key impetus behind the plan was overcrowding. The jail is currently at capacity, and the influx of inmates is only expected to get worse.

Delta County Sheriff Ed Oswald spoke to ABC 10 and explained the difficult road that he expects law enforcement to face going forward without the new facility.

“It’s not going to be easy,” said Sheriff Oswald. “It’s not going to be easy to manage the population within the jail and safety within the community at the same time. It’s a difficult juggle. We have been having some early releases – quite a few already this year – and we’re going to see that continue. We just do not have the room to house the amount of people arrested. The revolving door is just going to increase in speed.”

Oswald said the jail committee will now need to look at other options that could help mitigate the overcrowding.