Macomb County government leaders may have to decide between renovating a portion of the current county jail, or plan for a completely new facility.
The oldest portion of the Macomb County jail was built almost 60 years ago.
Updates are needed and Macomb County Sheriff Tony Wickersham said overcrowding is a constant problem.
"We are at capacity. The judges are on a bed allocation plan. There are more criminals out there, more people coming through our doors. We've got to be able to have some type of solution," Wickersham said.
Some estimates for a full-scale remodeling of the jail come in at $50 million. Building a new jail could cost up to $200 million.
Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, who is a former county sheriff, said he knows a new jail is a delicate subject in light of the ongoing financial disaster involving a new Wayne County jail project.
"There is definitely a concern with what is happening in Wayne County and Macomb County residents hear about that, so this isn't about the sheriff wanting a new jail or the county executive, or whether it's the judges. It's about figuring out how do we do it the right way," Hackel said.
Sheriff Tony Wickersham said it is apparent the county will not rush into a new project that will cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
"Even if we had the ideal plan that was approved today, we are talking probably three to five years before we would have a solution for Macomb County," Wickersham said,
While county leaders explore their options, it is estimated that necessary repairs to the current jail will cost up to $5 million.