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Female prisoners at Branch County Jail at all time high

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jail cell
jail cell

COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - The female inmate population is near or at an all-time high at the Branch County jail with the number of women behind bars in Coldwater two-and-a-half times more than what the lockup was designed to hold.

The 30 female prisoners right how represent a fourth of the overall inmate count at the jail. The Sheriff’s Administration and County officials have discussed various options to address the issue with several proposed building reconfigurations looked at.

The Michigan Department of Corrections hasn’t yet targeted the county for any possible sanctions. However, when the county decides it needs to tackle the problem, funding might be an issue since money in the jail maintenance millage account is now being earmarked to use next year to pay for keeping at least a part time road patrol in service.

Voters last month turned down a millage hike to fund the road patrol and that set into motion the pending layoff of nearly all of the road deputies. However, only half of the cuts with seven deputies slated to lose their jobs on January First are going to happen thanks to the temporary fix accomplished with the money from the jail millage 

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