TOMS RIVER — They're not dark, secret passages, officials say — but officials are guarded in how much detail they'll reveal.

Ocean County is renovating a tunnel underneath the justice complex that will allow for the more secure transfer of inmates from the county jail to the county courthouse on Washington Street, according to the Asbury Park Press.

Inmates currently are brought through a parking lot between the buildings.

It's part of a $3.7 million improvement project at the Ocean County Justice Complex that includes new passageways, a new elevator and new holding cells, according to the report.

Ocean County Administrator Carl W. Block told the newspaper he wouldn't use the word "secret" to describe the tunnel.  However, an effort was made to block the release of the plans to Press by the jail's warden in the name of security, and a cell phone was not allowed to be brought on a tour.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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