Latest Branch Co. Jail Design Includes Juvenile Holding Cell

by Josh Colletta

Branch County officials had made their displeasure well known when they couldn’t discern a temporary holding cell for juvenile suspects in the designs for the new Branch County Jail, but the latest update presented to the Board of Commissioners does, in fact, include such a cell.

According to WTVB, Securitecture architect Joe Mrak presented the latest plans to the board at Friday’s work session.

Mrak says a cell that will be used to hold juveniles away from the general population — as is required by federal law — is located between the sally port and the booking area. The cell will hold juveniles for temporary periods until they can be transported to another facility.

That space can also be used for detainees who are having mental health issues.

The plans haven’t been finalized yet, but Mrak presented two renderings of what this current design might look like.

Trees continue to be cleared from the new jail site, excluding a roped-off area. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is expected to issue a report on the site next week.

The official groundbreaking ceremony has been set for this upcoming Friday, though when construction will actually begin is yet to be determined.