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Marquette County Detention Center to reopen in November

The facility closed in April due to coronavirus concerns and staffing shortages.
The Detention Center is located in Chocolay Township.
The Detention Center is located in Chocolay Township.(WLUC)
Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 7:05 PM EDT
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CHOCOLAY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - The Marquette County Detention Center is set to reopen in the coming months.

The Detention Center has been closed for five months. Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt says two major factors caused the shutdown.

“We’re losing a lot of correctional officers,” he explained. “It’s a hard job, a thankless job, so we’ve had trouble not only retaining them but hiring new ones.”

Zyburt says the other reason for the shutdown was COVID-19.

“It changed a lot of things, like the amount of people that were spending time in jail,” he said. “We didn’t want people with COVID and we were trying not to spread it.”

Since April, Detention Center inmates—typically non-aggressive or facing misdemeanor charges—were moved to the County Jail. However, jail administrator Brian Steede says the jail is often at capacity, making it difficult to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

“It’s been hard to keep separated the inmates that may come in that are exposed or are positive to COVID,” said Steede. “We’ve actually had more in the last three weeks with new bookings coming in than we had all of 2020.”

According to Steede, several new correctional officers and kitchen staff have been hired since the shutdown. The Detention Center is set to reopen in November, when their training will be complete.

Steede says working without the center has shed a light on how necessary the facility is.

“We’re one busy weekend away from having to open it up anyways if we get a bunch of bookings in one weekend,” he said. “We’re at our capacity here right now.”

Zyburt says a few more hires are still needed to fully staff the Detention Center. To apply to work in the kitchen, click here. Click here for information on applying to work as a correctional staff member.

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