Surrounding Counties Profit From Overcrowding

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It’s no secret that Vigo County needs a new jail, that would fix issues the facility has been seeing for years.

Currently, Vigo pays Knox, Sullivan, Daviess and Parke Counties to house inmates. That would change with a new jail.

It’s been three years that Knox County Jail has accepted Vigo County inmates into their facility.

“It’s been an asset to us,” Sheriff Mike Morris said.

The over $400,000 they’ve received in those three years has helped multiple infrastructure repairs within the building among other additions.

There are three unmarked Sheriff Department vehicles that were purchased within the last two years and that’s from the money generated from the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department. Here’s another van that was purchased thanks to the revenue from Vigo County, it’s vans like this that are used to transport inmates to Knox County.

The Knox county jail was built ten years ago moving from a 48 bed facility to a 225 bed.   The average number of inmates is around 200… Including 15 to 30 vigo county inmates per day.

It’s been two years that Sullivan County’s also started helping with Vigo County overcrowding.

In 2016 alone, the jail received $98,000 helping them pay for a new roof and dispatch center that replaced 30 year old equipment.

Sullivan County’s capacity is much smaller than Knox, only holding 10 Vigo County inmates out of 66.

“If we see an increase in the Sullivan County jail population, we immediately same day reduce the population of the Vigo County inmates,” Sullivan County Sheriff Clark Cottom said.

Even though the surrounding counties benefit from the arrangement, Sheriff Morris wants to see Vigo County succeed.

“Build it big enough and hopefully, down the road once it is completed, that Vigo County can reap some of the unfortunate activity from other counties and fund themselves,” Sheriff Morris said.

I talked with Vigo County Sheriff Greg Ewing today who says last year the county spent nearly $1 million sending inmates to outside counties.

 

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