People in closely confined areas may be among the most susceptible to contracting the virus from someone else.  That’s one of the reasons why the Calhoun County Jail is implementing a special response plan and restricting contact whenever possible.  It is also reducing the number of inmates being held.

The jail has a capacity of over 600. Sheriff Matt Saxton tells WBCK the population yesterday was at about 475, of which about 260 are local and the rest are contractually held for other court systems. The number of local inmates continues to drop. Saxton says County judges are reviewing sentences, and bond orders for low level, non-violent offenders. When appropriate, some inmates determined to be no threat to the community are being released. In some cases that is the result of reduced bond requirements so inmates can meet the new lowered amount required. Saxton is the Vice President of the Michigan Sheriff’s Association and the incoming Executive Director of the group. He tells us many sheriffs’ departments throughout Michigan are engaged in the same process. Even though disease and virus control methods are a normal part of jail management, reducing populations, when possible, makes sense. Some control methods include having attorneys and visitors use a video system in place of face to face meetings. Staff members are being screened before entering most Michigan jails to help ensure the virus won’t get in.

Calhoun County has contracts with Livonia and Dearborn to house their overflow inmates. But at this point, Calhoun County will not accept any from those communities due to the high level of virus infections there.

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