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Mackinac Co. Jail Bond Proposal on the Ballot to Deal with Overcrowding

On the ballot on Election Day is a big bond proposal that would go toward building a new Mackinac County Jail if it passes.

9 & 10’s Blayke Roznowski and photojournalist Noah Jurik have details on the issues at the jail and how they hope the bond will fix it.

"We cant have people not going to jail simply because we don’t have the space for them," Mackinac County prosecutor Stuart Spencer said.

It’s a problem in Mackinac County where the sheriff says at least 100 people who committed misdemeanors couldn’t be jailed because there simply wasn’t enough space.

"The people that maybe need to spend a few days in jail, we don’t have that opportunity, the judges don’t have that opportunity to maybe correct some of those issues early on," Mackinac County Sheriff Scott Strait said. 

Sheriff Strait also says they don’t have enough room to offer all the programs they’d like to help keep inmates from becoming repeat offenders. 
An almost .75 mill bond proposal on the ballot in Mackinac County could help that situation. 

"The new jail will afford us classroom space and other space so that we have the ability to teach those people who want to correct their lives the skills necessary to stay out of jail," Sheriff Strait said. 

If the proposal passes, the jail will go from having enough space for 28 inmates to having as many as 88 inmates if they’re able to build the new jail right on the same lot. 

"You read reports the next week or the next month where they’ve gotten in trouble and if they had been given jail time, realistically it wouldn’t have happened again," Spencer said.

The average cost to the homeowner will be about $45 a year for the next 20 years, which many community members told us is a small price to pay, including the county prosecutor. 

"The cost of a new jail is dirt cheap compared to the cost of having another person be victimized," Spencer said.

For full details on the bond proposal, visit the .