The State of Indiana Department of Corrections issued a letter to the Vanderburgh County Commissioners and the Vanderburgh County Council about jail noncompliance on October 27.
The letter states that several standards at the jail are in noncompliance and need to be changed.
Most of the issues listed are related to jail overcrowding.
The county commission and county council will have 180 days to develop a plan of action to become compliant, according to the letter.
Here's the letter:
"I inspected the Vanderburgh County Jail on October 25, 2017 and found the jail in noncompliance in accordance with IC 11-12-4-2 and IC 36-2-2-24. By statute these items fall under the control of the county commissioners and the county council.
The following standards at the jail are in noncompliance and under the control of the Commissioners:
-210 IAC 3-1-1, the jail is overcrowded and the number of inmates exceeds the rated capacity of the jail.
-210 IAC 3-1-7 (a) (C), each inmate SHALL have access to a bed.
-210 IAC 3-1-7 (5) there SHALL be at least 1 toilet and 1 shower per 12 inmates.
-210 IAC 3-1-7 (I) (1), there SHALL be at least 35 square feet per inmate in a cell area and there SHALL be at least 50 square feet per inmate in a dorm area.
-210 IAC 3-1-8 (a), there SHALL be an objective classification system in place to properly house, segregate and accommodate inmates with special needs. This system is based upon having a sufficient amount of empty beds (20%+) in the jail for classification purposes.
The following standard at the jail is noncompliant and under the control of the county council:
-201 IAC 3-1-14 (a), there SHALL be sufficient personnel in the jail at all times to provide adequate supervision of inmates and to ensure staff and inmate safety. The jail is severely understaffed.
Based upon the noncompliance the commissioners and the council will have 180 days from the date of this letter to develop a plan of action to become compliant. This will need to include a means to fund a build/remodel or addition plan to become compliant with the Indiana Jail Standards and to include a method to bring the staffing levels in to compliance.
Sheriff Kenneth J. Whipker (Ret.)
Correctional Police Officer
Sheriff and County Jail Operations
Cc/file, C. Sweat, Sheriff"
(This story was originally published on Nov. 6, 2017)
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