Michigan county looks to send jail inmates to a neighbor

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ATLANTA, Mich. (AP) — A county in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula might lock its jail and throw away the key.

Montmorency County is considering a plan to close the jail and make a deal to house inmates nearby at the Alpena County jail, The Alpena News reported.

Only a handful of Michigan counties — Keweenaw, Luce and Oscoda — place jail inmates elsewhere, according to the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association.

Alpena County has a new jail and would also be willing to take on Montmorency County’s full-time jail officers at a higher wage, Sheriff Chad Brown said.

Brown estimates that Montmorency County could save at least $260,000 a year.

County commissioners “have a responsibility to look out for taxpayers, and I think this is a step in the right direction,” said Bob Stacey, one of the four commissioners who recently voted to keep talking to Alpena County.

The Montmorency jail typically has 15 inmates a day. It still could be used as a temporary lockup and reopened again if necessary, Brown said.

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