Dubois Co. will spend $100,000 to find overcrowded jail solution

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Dubois County will spend up to $100,000 to find out how much more it could spend later. A fix for its overcrowded jail could come at a much heftier price.

County Councilman Craig Greulich believes changes are overdue, but he and other county leaders say it’s important to have all the facts before making a move.

“We don’t want to overspend, but we want to make sure we have the best, as well,” Greulich said.

If you ask some current county leaders, the problem started the day the jail opened almost 30 years ago. Neither Sheriff Donald Lampert nor Sheriff-Elect Tom Kleinhelter was available Wednesday for insight on the issue.

A solution to an overcrowded jail is nothing new for Greulich. Vanderburgh County’s issues are well-documented, and he says other cities and counties across the Hoosier state share similar problems with more inmates than there are beds.

The study Council approved this week will help them decide whether the county should expand its current jail or try something new.

Greulich says they’re not looking for a band-aid fix.

This year, Council has approved about $80,000 in additional funding for the jail, to cover issues that arise from packed cells, like more food, staffing, and overtime hours.

“It’s an ongoing issue and it’s going to continue until we do something about it,” Greulich said.

Greulich doesn’t know how much a new jail or expansion will cost, but he hopes it is money well spent to solve a long-term issue.

The study will take about five months. He expects there will be a review session with council and county commissioners, and they could have public meetings.

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This story was originally published on November 28, 2018

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