With less than a week left to provide a decision to the federal court, residents, law enforcement and county officials are looking for answers on the present and future jail.
That’s the number of additional staff the Vigo County Jail needs to hire in order to run the current jail.
That information was shared during Tuesday’s Vigo County Council meeting.
“It’s no secret we’ve been understaffed for decades,” Sheriff Greg Ewing said, “but now with this pending lawsuit and the fact that we have a federal judge now involved, I think that the situation is a lot more grave and a lot more serious.”
Over the past four years, a study was conducted that shows the jail is not adequately staffed.
That’s one of the reasons the county is facing a lawsuit that says the current jail is unconstitutional.
The study was not required by the lawsuit, but Sheriff Greg Ewing says it’s the county’s way of being proactive.
“I think what people need to understand is, I need help and any help that the council can give me will just make our situation a little more better,” Ewing said.
Residents wanted answers about the jail, such as the operating expenses, design, cost, and location, including the possible site across from the aquatic center in Vigo County.
Officials understand those concerns.
“Having a police station right across the street from the park is awesome. I grew up in that park,” Vigo County Commissioner Brad Anderson said, “I know if my kids were playing over there, I’d feel comfortable.”
The meeting wrapped up just after 11 o’clock Tuesday night.
They approved 3 jailers with further discussion of adding additional jailers in the future.
Though they were approved, it does not mean that they were hired.
Vigo County is not the only county facing problems with its jail.
More than 40 counties in Indiana are facing a need for more beds.
Also, Monday, October 15th is the day that the county must provide a timeline and a location for the new jail to a federal judge.