KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Researchers looked at the effect of covid-19 on Indiana's jail populations and operations. The study was performed by the Center for Health and Justice Research at IU.
Between February and April of 2020 19 Indiana jails saw a decrease of more than 30 percent of their jail population. That level remained through mid-june.
Knox County was one of the surveyed. The population today remains at 25 percent less than normal capacity. Knox County law enforcement officials have done this by limiting the number of people who go to jail. Sheriff Doug Vantlin expects the population to begin rising again as those low-level crimes begin to be addressed.
Knox County is currently working on a project to expand the jail. This is due to overpopulation in the jail.
Vantlin says he and other law enforcement officials plan to review covid-19 changes that worked. However, he says the expansion is still needed.
Vantlin explains, "I've been at this profession for thirty years and this is only the first time that I've seen a jail count go down and it was because of the pandemic. Unfortunately the jail count just, I don't see no letting up."
To access the IU study: Click here