Wayne County has new plan in place to build failed jail

DETROIT – It is something of a chess game in Downtown Detroit near Greektown. 

There are a lot of pieces that need to get moved around and the right deals need to be struck. 

First and foremost: Wayne County needs a new juvenile court building. The county is looking to move it from Forest Avenue to the state of Michigan offices at Cadillac Square, where there is considerable available room, Local 4 has learned. 

Now, while we have known for a while the failed county jail site would stay right where it is, we didn't have details about the rest of the plan until now. 

Previous report: Wayne County jail project gets new life

The new jail, which has been sitting rotting in the weather for more than a year, will be reconfigured. The county intends to make certain as its finances get stronger it can add on upper floors as needed. 

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office also will move move to the new jail, which will mean it can vacate the offices on Woodward Avenue. 

Another feature to the jail will be the addition of an underground tunnel between the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice and the new jail, just as there is a tunnel between the courthouse and the Division 1 jail for escorting prisoners. 

Moreover, the courthouse will get a major and badly-needed makeover. 

The original jail plan called for closing all of the old Wayne County jails. However, now the Hamtramck Dickerson Jail and the Division 3 Jail will remain open. 

The current plan leaves two buildings empty in Greektown -- the Division 1 and 2 jails. The county intends to sell those buildings if it can find a buyer. So far, it hasn't found one. 

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