Isabella County Sheriff's Department - History
In 1870, the first jail in Isabella County was built with slab wood and was situated at the northwest corner of what are now Court and Mosher Streets. The Courthouse, constructed in 1872, was located directly on the west side (Main Street) of the block adjacent to the early jail. In the late 1880's a Victorian style Jail and Sheriff's residence were completed on the site where the first jail had been constructed.
In early 1961, plans were in motion to discontinue use of the current jail and build a new and up to date Sheriff's Department and Jail located where it sits now, a little further to the north on Court Street. This jail was to have the capacity of holding 42 inmates.
Since then, the department and jail have taken on a new and larger look to accommodate more staff members, inmates and services to protect and assist residents.
Three expansion projects have taken place: one in 1989 to accommodate 100 inmates, another in 1992 flexing its walls to hold 140 and again in 1999 to boost the housing capacity to 196. (This last expansion allowed inmates from Detroit area municipal jurisdictions to house their offenders here). Other major changes took place during this time, including more office and equipment space, a more modern and larger kitchen, locker rooms for both men and women, food storage and training rooms.
Today, the Sheriff’s Department patrol cars have digital video cameras and mobile data computers which can access the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN). LEIN provides deputies with officer safety information, driving records, warrant information and more. The Sheriff’s Department has a very distinct and unique place in the history of law enforcement in America, handed down from the early days in England more than 1,000 years ago. Now, we do more than ever to serve the members of our community.