U.S. Marshals relocate Wayne Co. inmates - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

U.S. Marshals relocate Wayne Co. inmates for 'health and safety concerns'

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DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -

Federal inmates at the Wayne County Jail are being relocated after U.S. Marshals visited the jail and became concerned about the prisoner's health and safety.

From the poor air flow and substandard heating and cooling, to complaints about the dirty water and the crumbling structures themselves, Fox 2 has learned the U.S. Marshals had its review team come in and inspect Wayne County jails.

The team determined health and safety of the prisoners was a concern and removed their nearly 200 inmates and transferred them to Wayne County's Dickerson Detention Center in Hamtramck.

The U.S. Marshals service says that building exceeded their standards, that it's more efficient and they are getting what they pay for since $145 federal dollars is paid to the county per prisoner per day.

Deb Choly represents the 1,500 inmates left behind in the county jails downtown. She is the Michigan legal services attorney handling an ongoing lawsuit filed by prisoners initially in 1979 that were upset about the conditions inside the facility. The jail was built back in 1929.

Sheriff Benny Napoleon's spokesperson tells us the county stopped putting money into the aging buildings when it was believed a new jail would be built. But those plans were halted this summer.

In the meantime with no more money to fix the problems the standards continue to drop and if it's not good enough for federal inmates, the question is: Why is it good enough for prisoners of the county and state.

"I would argue that there may be money to fix it, and I think they have to find the money to fix it because they have an obligation under the constitution to do that," Choly argues.

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