Flint City lockup not reaching capacity - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Flint City lockup not reaching capacity

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(11/27/12) - It's costing the state $2.2 million to run Flint's Lockup. It can hold 110 inmates, but right now only nine are being held. Two months after opening, ABC12 is getting a progress report. The goal is to ease crime in the city, but now some, like Alicia Mauck, are questioning if that's happening.

"I've heard Flint was the highest number of crime rate and we only have nine in the lockup. There's something not right there," Mauck said.

In march, Gov. Snyder announced he is setting aside state money to reopen the jail as part of his crime fighting initiative. The Genesee County Sheriff's Department is in charge of operations. Major Phil Hart tells ABC12, at its peak, the jail held 23 inmates.

"A part of it is lack of manpower out on the streets. Flint city, as you well know, they're very overwhelmed. They're running from call to call. They come in on shift and are down 40-50 calls."

The state spent $2.2 million to get the jail open and keep it running for a year. After that year is up, there is an option to renew. Hart says though there are no immediate results, it will take time to get it running to capacity.

"I think unfortunately it's not doing everything we hoped it would, but I think it's making some impact," Hart said.

Flint residents, like Patrice Williams, struggling with crime in their neighborhoods are hoping for a bigger impact.

"They need to take their time and really catch these people because they do need to be off the street, especially the B&E's, they're scary," Williams said.  

It's important for us to mention to that by law, a lockup such as Flint's can only house people for 72 hours. Once they're formally charged, they're released or sent to the county jail.

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