GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)- The most historic part of the Kent County Jail will soon be demolished. The space dates back to the 1950s and includes equipment that was used at famous prisons like Alcatraz.
The facility was built nearly 60 years ago and the cells were small and the doors had to be opened manually. At the time, it was a state-of-the-art jail.
Today, everything is automated. The newest section just opened in December of last year. The expansion was needed because the jail population is has grown substantially. In 1959, the average number of inmates in jail was 217. In 2011, it was 1093.
It's amazing how it's changed over the years," says Lt. Mark Neuman.