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County leaders, public hears final jail recommendations

Vigo county commissioners and the public are considering some final recommendations regarding a new jail.

Posted: Nov. 15, 2018 11:15 PM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Vigo county commissioners and the public are considering some final recommendations regarding a new jail.

A final public forum on results of a jail study was Thursday night.

The forum focused less on the jail itself and more on how to keep people out of it.

Criminal justice consultant, Allen Beck, explains Vigo County already has several programs that are alternatives to jail, as well as programs to reform defendants or even get them drug treatment. He says the county could still improve the support programs by hiring more people.

Vigo County Commission President Judith Anderson says, "We're doing it but we're not doing it to the fullest extent that we could and should."

Beck also says a new jail position called an expediter could make a big difference. That person would ensure that when a judge signs an order or release the inmate is released quickly so they are not taking up a bed for longer than necessary.

Anderson says she is optimistic about the next steps regarding the new jail location. The Terre Haute City Council is set to decide on a rezoning request next month. Anderson says she has support from at least one city council member. The former International Paper property is in Amy Auler's district and Anderson says Auler signed the rezoning petition earlier this week.

Anderson also says she hopes "fences are mending" between city and county leaders so they can work together on the jail project.

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