Greene County jail is fighting overcrowding with their new jail expansion

Like a lot of Indiana counties, Greene County jail faced an overpopulation problem. Thursday, their new expansion opened up. We have a sneak peek of it here.

Posted: May 23, 2019 10:48 PM

GREENE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) -- If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times. Jails all across Indiana are facing an overcrowding problem.

Greene County, Indiana is no different, but leaders decided they were going to be proactive and build an expansion before it got too bad.

"The beds filled up in the county jails. There's a lot of counties in Indiana that's having to deal with building jails. And Greene county basically realized this was something we needed to deal with," Michael Hasler, Greene County Sheriff said.

"We were definitely overcrowded here and it's really going to open a lot up for the sheriffs' department," Nathan Abrams, Greene County Commissioner said.

The new expansion has some obvious upgrades.

Some of those include video phones where inmates can talk with visitors, showers in almost every cell, and a hallway behind the cells where officers can check on inmates through a window.

That back hallway is also home to plumbing, wiring and the HVAC system.

That way, if anything needs maintenance, officers don't have to move any inmates. There also won't be the fear that any tools were left behind or stolen. It makes things safer for the maintenance crew, the officers and the inmates.

"There are several things that have been done that have just better than the system we currently have," Sheriff Hasler said. "You know it does make it safer for my staff. It makes it safer for the inmates."

Both commissioner Abrams and Sheriff Hasler are very pleased with the turnout from the community at the open house.

"I've seen a lot of families come through here with young children and I think that's just wonderful so that they can actually see that this is not someplace you wanna be," Abrams said.

"The people paid for it and they have the right to come and see it and you know I'm thrilled there's a lot of people showing up today," Hasler said.

Greene County leaders say right now, they're ahead of schedule and below budget.

Sheriff Hasler credits a lot of that to everyone working together and agreeing on most everything.

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