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New Downtown Jail Somehow Manages to Lower Expectations

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Scheduled to open in 2014, Downtown's new jail is failing to meet the expectations you didn't even know you had for a jail. Basic real estate reasoning tells us that a plan featuring a large jail as the eastern welcome mat to Downtown is rather unwise, yet our fearless leaders of Wayne County have increased the ineptitude to intolerable levels. The Detroit News reports that the jail's original plans included fifty-one tablet computers ($2,400 a pop), five private bathrooms for the higher-ups, and a 300-square-foot terrace from which to take in the gorgeous view of Downtown. Now it's a $300M mess.

The jail is now so over-budget, its capacity has been scaled down to just 2,000 inmates in order to reduce construction costs. Keep in mind, the justification for building a new jail to begin with was that its large capacity would allow three other jails to close. At least one must now remain open. Let's hope the ongoing FBI probe results in the appropriate parties experiencing their failed jail firsthand.

As an added bonus, once Fail Jail is complete, it's anticipated that the two adjacent jails it's replacing (pictured below) will be demolished, leaving two huge chunks of empty downtown space that'll have to be used for parking, as no one will want to build anything next to a big, new jail. Except maybe another jail.

· Napoleon: Wayne Co. jail project a 'mess [Detroit News]
· Wayne Co. jail costs run $65M over budget [Detroit News]
· Wayne County plans to buy casino land to build new jail [Crain's]

Fail Jail

Gratiot at St Antoine, Detroit, MI