ATLANTA - The Montmorency County Sheriff Department has been working with the state of Michigan on a deal to house state prisoners in the jail's unused beds. According to Undersheriff Brian Crane, employees at the jail would not have to change procedures or the day-to-day operations of the jail to house the new state prisoners.
"We are asking for 20 state prisoners to be close to capacity in the jail," Crane said. "The state of Michigan covers all transportation and medical bills, and we would pay for any medical transportation costs."
The jail recently was housing inmates from Isabella County, but it did not work out as planned, so the county decided to pursue receiving state prisoners.
"We're about 99 percent sure this is going to happen with the state," Crane said. "We would receive five prisoners per week over the course of four weeks."
Housing state prisoners would bring in an extra $35 per day per inmate to the jail, which is $9 more than the county was receiving per prisoner from Isabella County.
"It will force us to be more polished," Crane said. "State prisoners are more savvy in how to manipulate jail policy. All the prisoners we would have are within the last two years of their sentence."
All the employees at the jail are certified in corrections and trained, and the additional prisoners most likely will result in the jail adding one additional position for the day shift.
"The prisoners will come from a multitude of state prisons," Crane said. "With many most likely from Jackson."
Crane said the department hopes to start bringing in the state prisoners after the first of the year.
Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.