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Carroll County is getting a new jail after ongoing overcrowding issue

The current Carroll County jail has a maximum of 34 beds. Right now, it's housing 42 inmates.

Posted: Mar. 26, 2019 7:11 PM

CARROLL COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) —Carroll County leaders decided on a permanent solution to fix their overcrowded jail issue. The county is building a new jail.

The current Carroll County jail has a maximum of 34 beds. Right now, it's housing 42 inmates.

“Started back in about 2014 with the passage of House Bill 10-06,” said Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby.

House Bill 10-06 changed the states inmate laws. It ended up putting more lower-level criminals in county jails, rather than state prisons.

“There are actually roughly 60 of the 92 counties are either discussing or actually actively looking into building a new county jail,” said Sheriff Leazenby.

Sheriff Leazenby announced that Carroll County Jail is one of them.

“Part of the issue that we were running into was that regionally there were really no county jails that had any space available that we could take our overcrowding situation to,” said Sheriff Leazenby.

Warren County and White County Jail are both currently helping Carroll County by housing inmates. But it's not cheap.

It costs Carroll County $35 a day per inmate to stay at another jail. Carroll County has sent more than 20 people to other jails, that can cost the county more than a million dollars annually.

“This is money that goes out of the county and there's no return for it whatsoever,” said Sheriff Leazenby.

Sheriff Leazenby's spending calculations span as far as five years. On that scale, it could cost taxpayers nearly $1.5 Million.

“Putting the bandaids on it as we've been doing in the past are not going to alleviate the problem," said Sheriff Leazenby. "We've got to continue to be proactive in moving forward in this project."

The new jail includes 112 beds, 64 cells and has a dorm style common area to help with inmate interaction and mental health.

“I think by way of our commissioners being proactive with this, that kind of shines a positive light on Carroll County as far as moving over,” said Sheriff Leazenby.

The new jail is set to cost a total anywhere from nearly $13.2 Million to $14 Million. The next step is getting community feedback on where to put the jail. Once that's figured out, Sheriff Leazenby said construction can begin as early as next year.

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