MARQUETTE — After being shut down for just over a month, one local Corrections Detention Center is back open with some big changes.
The Marquette County Community Corrections Detention Center re-opened its doors after construction that will now allow it to be a co-ed facility. The building is separated into two wings; one for male inmates and the other for female inmates. Each wing can house up to 40 people.
Compared to the main facility, this center allows for more recreation time and freedoms. But the qualification requirements to be transferred to this facility is very strict.
Everybody that’s going to be out here is going to be minimum security. There’s a big process that’s involved with that. It starts out with a classification system, and the first question in that is what are they in jail for?
The inmates are in for as little as a few days, and as long as a year. That time can be shortened with good behavior.
All of the inmates at the Detention Center have an opportunity to give back to the community while they serve their time. “Typically they go to the landfill three days a week and they’re doing recylcing,” said Sergeant Brian Steede, “by them doing that it helps reduce the cost for the general public for doing drop-off at the landfill. They’ve gone and set up tents at the girl scout camp, they help out at the fairgrounds, they help out at Habitat for Humanity, Lakeview Arena, and different places like that.”
The re-opening of the Detention Center helps with many of the problems that have been facing the Marquette Jail.
“It’s going to ease the pressure we have over at the main jail of overcrowding,” said Undersheriff Michael Klein, “we can house 80 people, typically we like to be around 72. Sometimes this summer we were at 101. So what we like to do now we can move minimum security, both male and female inmates out here and house them separately in separate wings of this building.”
According to members of the detention center, the $180,000 construction project was completely worth the money, since it will allow both men and women the same opportunities to better themselves.
“The ultimate goal of corrections, and especially this place is to have these people not come back,” said Steede.
“Give them a chance, give them some projects, they really enjoy helping the community,” added Klein, “and that’s what we’re here about, helping the community and hopefully turn some of these men and women around.”
“We hope that they get a tool, through either the programming, or their interaction with us that they can get back into society and be productive,” added Steede.