HILLSDALE, Mich. (WLNS) — Overcrowding is a problem at many jails in Michigan.
And now the problem is hitting a local county jail.
6 News talked with county sheriff about what’s being done about their situation.
For the second time this year, the Hillsdale County Jail is overcapacity.
“It’s been coming for quite a while,” said Sheriff Timothy Parker.
Sheriff Parker says the county jail has room for 67 inmates, but right now they have 74 behind bars.
If the population doesn’t go down over the next week, county judges will have to take action.
“They decide which inmates they have sentenced that they can reduce the number of days they have to serve and they usually notify us for an imminent release for those individuals, which will bring us below the population we need to be,” Parker said.
The sheriff says it’s hard to narrow down why the inmate population is going up in Hillsdale.
But he says overpopulation is a problem for county jails statewide.
“Those inmate population numbers have increased and a lot of the jails are stressed,” Parker said.
With the jail building now 45 years old, and the inmate population increasing, Sheriff Parker says the community needs to address this situation sooner rather than later.
He says an addition or new building could be considered.
“There is going to come a point in time where our residents, our county board of commissioners, are going to have to decide if this is something that we want to put money toward in the future to keep our community safe,” Parker said.
The sheriff says overcrowding is a strain on resources and creates tense conditions for staff and inmates.
“It’s best that the public understands that we’re pushing the brink of a 1973 facility. And like any other facility, things need to be upgraded, and that’s where we’re at now with the Hillsdale County Jail,” Parker said.