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Saginaw County prepares to break ground on new $35M jail

Saginaw County set to break ground on their new detention center, a project four years in the making. The current Saginaw County jail is nearly half a century old. (Photo: WEYI/WSMH)

SAGINAW, Mich. -- Saginaw County set to break ground on their new detention center, a project four years in the making.

The current Saginaw County jail is nearly half a century old.

“No one back in 1968, ‘69 anticipated the type of crime that we would have, the type criminals that we would have, the type of security issues that we would face 50 years later,” says Sheriff William Federspiel.

The current jail was designed to hold less than 300 inmates but has held as many as 600.

“Our daily average population is right around 400 or 405,” say Sheriff Federspiel.

The new facility will have roughly the same number of beds as the current one but will take less personal to operate due to a change in the design.

“We will be leaner but we will still be safe,” says Sheriff Federspiel.


The new jail will be built right next to the current jail actually in a neighboring parking lot. It will be 87,000 square feet.

“It will be great for the staff to have a building that’s safer for them and can house all of us rather than 2 separate buildings,” says the Sheriff.

The cost of this new facility is over $35 million which the county has paid for in bonds.

“Let’s face it there aren’t too many people I know of in Saginaw county that want to pay any more money in their taxes for a jail,” says Sheriff Federspiel.

To help defer the cost, there will be a reduction in staff but according to the sheriff hopefully no layoffs.

“With a lot of retirements happening in the law enforcement side in the next two years we’re hoping to get people trained up that are on that chopping block if you will who know their jobs aren’t safe to get access to that training,” say the Sheriff. “We’re hoping to get them through the police academy and out through the law enforcement side so that we retain them just in a different division.”

Groundbreaking for the new detention center will take place at the corner of Harrison and Adams at 8:30 a.m. Monday morning. It's schedule to open Christmas 2019.


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