WEMU News
7:55 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Sheriff Warns Of Jail Crowding If State Measure Passes As-Is

Washtenaw County's jail system could soon see an influx of new prisoners.

Credit eWashtenaw.org

State Senator John Proos is proposing a bill to limit the number of inmates held in the state's prison system. If passed, it would restrict Michigan's prison population to 38,000, or about 6,000 less than are currently housed in state prisons.

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton says if the bill is left unchanged, it could lead to overcrowding in county jails.

"It causes me some concerns," Sheriff Clayton says, "but obviously I think the devil's in the details, and we'd have to see exactly what the intent and the actual components of the bill are to really understand the impact."

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton says if the bill passes, many inmates would likely be transferred to county jails, and the bill does not appear to offer any financial assistance to those systems.

Clayton says many jails are already operating at capacity and adding more prisoners to the system would be a financial burden on local governments.