Allen County Commissioners rule out four locations for new jail site

(WPTA)
Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 3:18 PM EDT
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ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA) - The Allen County Board of Commissioners say they have ruled out four of the eight locations that were proposed as possibilities for the county’s new jail site.

On Tuesday afternoon, commissioners sent a news release saying the board has vetted eight different locations on which to build a new jail. They say four of those properties were found to be not viable for a number of factors including “poor soil conditions to a lack of accessible utility services to suboptimal land configuration”.

WPTA has reached out to the board’s office for information on where those four properties are located. Commissioners say they are still looking into the remaining four properties as possibilities.

On Sept. 23, commissioners brought in an architecture expert to help vet the proposed jail sites and create a rating system to evaluate the properties. The criteria includes the following:

  • Proximity to medical facilities: Is the location close to existing hospitals or mental health facilities?
  • Proximity to county judicial facilities
  • Proximity to law enforcement and county municipal offices
  • Potential impact on existing or future resident or commercial development
  • Existing utilities and other critical services
  • Capacity to allow for increased traffic and unimpacted transportation of inmates
  • Potential acquisition cost
  • Parcel size and layout

Earlier this year, a U.S. District Court judge found in favor of the plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit addressing myriad deficiencies at the Allen County Jail. His order demanded swift action by the sheriff and the county commissioners to address concerns that include overcrowding, staffing, and the treatment of inmates.

Then in July, the commissioners said expanding the current jail downtown was not an option. They suggested that a new jail be built on county-owned land at Paulding and Adams Center roads, as it would provide the space they need. That proposal was met with backlash from constituents.