group of cells to open soon at 11-year-old Porter County
14, 2014 • Bob Kasarda NWI Times
VALPARAISO | More than 11 years after the Porter County
Jail was opened along Ind. 49, Porter County Sheriff
Dave Lain announced Monday that efforts are wrapping up
to open the third and final set of cells.
long, $234,073 renovation process is complete, which
makes room for 109 more beds, he said.
now stands in the way of opening the third satellite
area is the hiring of four more jail officers, Jail
Commander Ron Gaydos said.
hiring process has been delayed by the search for
qualified individuals and recent departures from the
existing jail staff, Lain said.
renovated third section of the jail could be open by the
end of May if all goes as planned, Gaydos said.
several jail officers led a media tour of the renovated
section of the jail Monday morning. The area is the
smallest of the three at the jail and is composed of six
housing units, which are observed by a centrally located
not so we can bring more inmates in," Lain said.
has a maximum capacity of 454 beds, yet already reaches
that number with just two of the three satellite areas
open, he said. The opening of the third area will simply
relieve overcrowding in the other two sections, which
brings the jail into compliance with standards and
reduces the risk of legal liability.
opening has been delayed for years, in large part
because of the renovation costs and the roughly $450,000
needed to hire the nine new jailers. The action finally
came in the wake of recommendations from a federal study
and a threatening letter from the American Civil
Liberties Union of Indiana, which said overcrowding at
the jail was inexcusable, a constitutional violation and
puts the county at risk for litigation it will lose.
the county's inmate population has been fueled by state
and federal offenders, Lain said there were no state
holds the last time he checked and the number of federal
inmates was down to 20, which is a third of what it had
judges, who ultimately decide how many people are sent
to jail, are part of an effort to release those who
don't need to be held, Lain said.