Wayne County Sheriff Says New Jail Won’t Be Big Enough

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon says a new jail currently under construction still won’t be big enough when completed.

Napoleon tells The Detroit News the $300 million project has been plagued by “bad planning,” because officials wanted to start the project, then “come back and ask for more money.”

But Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano said Napoleon has been involved in the plans for the jail from the beginning.

“The sheriff’s been with us since day one and they’ve signed documents about what they think the need was,” said Ficano.

“Originally the court order said 17 hundred beds. They have since tried to advance it to 21 hundred, and, at this point, the sheriff is asking now for 28 hundred,” he added. “I don’t believe the commission is going to approve funding for that amount of additional beds.”

According to Ficano, all parties signed documents over a year ago when the plan was approved. “Every few months it keeps changing, and, you know, at this point we have a firm number and we’re gonna go ahead and move forward,” he said.

The new jail is supposed to save the county $20 million a year when it opens in 2014 by consolidating three county jail facilities.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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