Harrison County Jail moves forward proudly under new accreditati - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Harrison County Jail moves forward proudly under new accreditation

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'Second to None' is the new motto of the Harrison County Jail. 'Second to None' is the new motto of the Harrison County Jail.
Inmates like Bill Underwood say the jail has really transformed from chaos to order. Inmates like Bill Underwood say the jail has really transformed from chaos to order.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A southern Indiana jail, once accused of abusing inmates, has now received a top award in the state. Harrison County Sheriff Rod Seelye doesn't deny the reputation that the Harrison County Jail once had.

“This parking lot was often filled with news trucks, waiting to report on the latest catastrophe,” said Sheriff Seelye.

In 2010, there were allegations of abuse at the jail. Inmates were allegedly being tortured, pepper sprayed, and an inmate dying from a drug overdose.

Three jail officers were arrested and morale was low.

“Didn't want to come to work. Get up in the morning and knew what we were getting into and didn't really want to come,” said Sgt. Gerald Price with the Harrison County Jail.

However, Sergeant Gerald Price says in the past 4 years this has changed, largely due to new leadership within the jail and sheriff's department.

“The atmosphere in here is so much different that each day is like the first day of starting here,” said Sgt. Price.

Inmate Bill Underwood has been behind bars for burglary and manufacturing meth.

He saw disorder within the jail more than 4 years ago, but now it has changed.

“It's ran real well now. You can ask any inmate in here and they're not denied care, rec, anything. If you want to go to ministry, you can. If you want to go to rec, you can. You get visits, you get phone calls, everything is set,” said inmate Bill Underwood.

The new jail motto is "Second to None", and the jail has received a big honor.

The facility is one of only two jails in Indiana to earn accreditation from the American Correctional Association.

It was a long process that included rewriting policies and procedures, jail inspections, and interviews with inmates and staff.

“Our insurance rates for the county are going to be reduced by 10 or 15 percent starting in January because of the accreditation of the jail,” said Sheriff Rod Seelye.

Sheriff Seelye says he knows it's just a title, but one he says the entire department worked hard to earn.

“We had a public trust issue. I think that by doing this we've come a long way in restoring that public trust,” said Sheriff Seelye.

Sheriff Seelye says 4 years ago there were dozens of lawsuits against the jail, but after all the changes and new leadership there have been none.

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