TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — As plans for a new Vigo County jail move forward, jail overcrowding continues to be an issue at the current facility.
The ACLU filed court documents Sept. 30 claiming the jail population reached 359–well above the 268 beds available. At that time, Sheriff John Plasse reached out to other jails throughout the region with only Greene County answering his plea for help.
It was later discovered that the number listed in the court documents included 38 inmates housed at other locations, and a hearing for Wednesday was cancelled, according to Plasse.
“I know the judge has been really lenient with us,” he said of the overcrowding.
He noted that he doesn’t want to wait for the judge’s patience to run out before finding a solution. That is why he moved forward with an intergovernmental agreement with Greene County.
Vigo County is consistently housing around 40 inmates at other locations including Martin and Sullivan counties, Plasse explained. With Sullivan facing its own overcrowding issues , Vigo is quickly running out of options.
Greene County recently completed construction of a jail addition that added around 200 new beds to the facility, allowing room for some Vigo County inmates.
The agreement will allow Vigo County to house inmates at the Greene County facility at a cost of $37.50 per day per inmate. The county will face additional costs for transportation.
Vigo County commissioners Wednesday approved the agreement, and now it will go to Greene County officials for a final vote.
Plasse hopes to remain on schedule to break ground on the new jail in December.