TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – ACLU of Indiana attorney Kenneth Falk says the inmate population at the Vigo County Jail must be reduced.
According to court documents, as of September 30th, the population of the Vigo County Jail was 359 inmates.
Falk says there are 268 beds in the jail and the federal court has concluded the jail is overcrowded when it exceeds 80%, or 214 inmates.
Court documents state that Falk was informed that the inmate number was high on Sept. 30 due to the jail population significantly increasing over the weekend.
Falks says, “While it is reassuring that the jail’s population is not consistently at 359, the fact that it rises to such a high level over the weekend is extremely disconcerting.”
“Plantiffs do not believe that allowing the population levels to be this high, or even higher, at any time pending construction of the new Vigo County Jail is a viable situation, given the length of the time it takes to build a new facility,” Falk also stated.
Vigo County Sheriff John Plasse went on to explain the county will have to follow the decision of the federal judge.
“It’s ultimately up to the judge when we see her in November, what she tells us to do. And we’ll obviously adhere to whatever order she puts out,” he said. “And we’re trying to get those numbers down to the 268, but it’s just a constant influx of people making mistakes coming in here.”
In an Oct. 17 court filing, the Vigo County Sheriff, President of the Vigo County Council, President of the Vigo County Commissioners were ordered to appear at the federal court in Terre Haute on Nov. 6.
According to the filing, they are ordered to appear before the court to discuss efforts made to address the population and population pressures on the Vigo County Jail.