Multi-million dollar Scott Co. Jail expansion underway - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Multi-million dollar Scott Co. Jail expansion underway

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SCOTTSBURG, Ind. (WDRB) -- It has been a project 10 years in the making. Now, the Scott county jail is expanding and upgrading.

The Scott County jail currently has 65 beds and Sheriff Dan McClain says it's constantly overcrowded. The new jail is currently under construction and will have 200 beds.

"It's really starting to come along,” Sheriff McClain said Wednesday.

McClain says a bigger jail is long overdue.

The current Scott County Jail averages 120 inmates a day, meaning jailers are having to take dozens of inmates to other counties because they don't have room for them and that, McClain says, gets expensive.

"You don't just have the expense of keeping an inmate in another facility. You have the expense of transporting them back and forth. I think in 2013 we spent close to $400,000 on outsourcing inmates,” he told WDRB.

The existing jail was built in 1985 and McClain says the expansion also means updated technology and a safer layout for jailers and inmates.

“Our jailers will have the touchscreen computers in front of them so they'll be able to just use touch screen to open and close doors and monitor everyone on video so it will be a much better flowing facility that what we have now."

The addition comes with an $11.5 million price tag. It's being paid for with COIT money -- county occupational income tax -- which commissioners say was put in place several years ago.

"We'd like to keep it under that,” said McClain.

McClain says the new addition to the Scott County Jail also has the potential to help surrounding Indiana counties.

"We'll actually have open beds when we first open this so if another county was overcrowding, which a lot of them are and they needed a place to store an inmate, we could certainly do that for them."

McClain says he plans to hire two more jailers for the new facility.

Construction should wrap up by November of 2015.

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