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Overcrowding At Jail Becoming Critical

Perhaps the inmates can sleep in tents outside?

That may be a drastic move but the overcrowding situation at the Houghton County Jail is at a critical point.

Sheriff Brian McLean has once again informed the county that the population at the jail exceeds their maximum capacity.

There are reportedly 38 inmates being house in the jail, with 14 of them being women.

The jail was only built to hold 28 people, with a maximum of 8 female inmates.

97th District Court Judge Mark Wisti says the overcrowding at the jail has to be taken under consideration when sentencing people for non-violent crimes.

Wisti said, “A—you’re just not going to be putting anybody in there who absolutely doesn’t have to be in there. It’s just basically going to be people who are threats to public safety and/or who simply don’t respond to drug treatment and you’re worried they are going to kill themselves on these opiates. And B—you can reduce sentences to a certain point when it gets this bad, but it’s somewhat limited under the law.”

Since February, Sheriff McLean has repeatedly invoked the Jail Overcrowding Emergency Powers Act, calling on the county to take action to help alleviate the situation.

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