SULLIVAN COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Talks for a new Sullivan County jail have been in the works for years.
Now, there's progress being made. The new facility will help solve issues like over-crowding and coronavirus spread.
The new jail in Sullivan County has been in the works for three years now.
Sheriff Clark Cottom says if all goes well we could see a ground break date sometime this year. They are in the design phase right now.
They're looking at where and how big the jail would be.
"I'm optimistic that there will be a jail designed properly. and the location will be suitable for the needs of the county and also that will benefit the community," says Cottom.
The current jail is 40 years old and can only fit 54 inmates. There's a concern for overpopulation.
Sheriff Cottom says the new jail will give inmates room to separate themselves from folks that may be a bad influence if they're trying to get their life together.
"Just a revolving door where people are arrested and come in and they get no correction or no help whatsoever and they go right back out to the streets and to the alleys where the drugs are and we want to make sure that these individuals if they need help, can get that help while they're here and perhaps get their life turned around," says Sheriff Cottom.
The sheriff is proud to say coronavirus hasn't made its way into the jail.
"Large gatherings businesses or operations such as schools or nursing homes and different things like that they've not been successful in keeping Covid out but we have worked very hard here in keeping Covid out and very fortunate," says Cottom.
He says council members, commissioners, the jail committee, and the public have been very supportive throughout this process.
There's a lot to it if people only knew what went on behind the scenes to keep an operation like this afloat, it's incredible," says the Sheriff.
The sheriff says once they get started it should only take about 18 months to complete.