HUNTINGTON COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – The expansion of the Huntington County Jail is underway to help increase the capacity and services provided to inmates.
“I think like most jails across Indiana, we’ve been overcrowded for a long time,” said Huntington County Sheriff Christ Newton.
Recent legislation has allowed Level 6 offenders to stay at the jail instead of going to the Department of Corrections, and Sheriff Newton said the jail has seen a 50-60% increase in the number of inmates.
The Huntington County Jail currently has 98 beds and the expansion will add 233 beds and more than 30,000 square feet. It will also allow inmates to be segregated according to their charges.
Sheriff Newton said that when inmates went to the Department of Corrections, there were programs there for things such as alcohol, drug, substance and domestic issues. The classes would help the inmates have access to rehabilitation when they got out of jail. Before the expansion, programs were not offered at the Huntington County Jail, but the new setup will allow for more opportunities for similar programs.
“Part of our project here is to have a classroom setup, [so] we can offer those classes along with spiritual classes, church services, GED classes – things to help them so once they get out hopefully they won’t come back,” Sheriff Newton said.
The new section is expected to be operational by the end of 2021. Renovations to the older section are expected to be completed in the following six to eight months.