Inmates have been moved into the new Carey A. Winders Detention Center, Wayne County Sheriff Larry Pierce said this morning.

The unannounced move of 70 inmates into the facility on North William Street was carried out on Monday.

"We are just going to do it in phases," Pierce said. "We want to see how everything works out and start doing it in phases. As we can we will be making some repairs to the old facility. I am glad to be in the new facility. It feels really good. It looks like we are going to have a nice facility to work in.

"We just appreciate all of the efforts the county commissioners made and that facilities services have made. It is going to save taxpayers a lot of money in the end."

The move leaves approximately 200 inmates in the downtown jail.

Pierce said the county has not yet started to bring in inmates that are having to be housed in other counties because of chronic overcrowding at the old jail.

Pierce said that will happen as soon as, "we feel like we can and get our repairs made in the other facility."

"It is just a matter of time now trying to get all the repairs made and everyone back into Wayne County," he said. "We are just doing it as a transition thing. We will just do it as we see the need. We won't release any time frame.

"We are getting everybody adjusted to the new way we are doing things. Then we will work on starting to bring people back. We are just getting everything situated and we will do the transition as we can."

The new jail can house 221 inmates, but Pierce said he could not comment as to how the inmates were being housed across the new jail. Pierce said is not sure when the county will be able to begin repairs at the old jail.

"We are working with the county's facilities services on that," he said. "We are having to have some materials fabricated, things of that nature. So it depends on when all of that is ready."