Jackson County Juvenile Detention Center to close to make room for more adult inmates
The part of the Jackson County Jail that houses juveniles is shutting down which requires the juveniles to housed in new locations in just a few weeks.
BROWNSTOWN, Ind. (WDRB) -- The part of the Jackson County Jail that houses juveniles is shutting down, which will require the juveniles to be housed in new locations in just a few weeks.
On Tuesday night, the Jackson County Commission voted unanimously to close the Juvenile Detention Center to allow more room for adult inmates in the jail. The building currently houses men, women and juveniles all in the same building but in different sections.
“In the state of Indiana 80 to 90 percent of the jails are overcrowded," said Jackson County Sheriff Mike Carothers.
Carothers said the jail hopes to move the female inmates to the current juvenile section, which would free up more room for the men's general housing, which has a larger population.
Fifteen juveniles are housed in the detention center, a number that fluctuates daily. The area has 28 beds, but that number could double when adult inmates are moved to that section, since they can be housed two to a cell.
“The available space on this side of the building would give us the ability to ease our jail population by quite a bit,” said District One County Commissioner Drew Markel.
The jail houses about 250 inmates, about 70 more than it was built for. Carothers said the overcrowding has a lot to do with opioid crisis, since most of the inmates are non-violent offenders.
The juveniles housed at the facility would be moved to other detention centers throughout the state. Young inmates often don’t stay long based on the court system and their charges and are usually released fairly quickly.
“The average stay for a kid in juvenile next door is normally around 11 days, so it is not like they are in there for years,” Carothers said.
Because of the housing change, the jail is looking to team up with more local recovery programs to help get inmates back on their feet quicker. Centerstone in Austin, Indiana, is one of the community mental health programs hoping to work with the jail.
“Let’s provide some services to help rehabilitate these individuals instead of just letting them leave in the same condition of which they entered, really,” said Jennifer Fillmore, Director of Grants and Services at Centerstone.
Markel said from a savings standpoint, the money will be utilized back to the jail to pay for more jailers and to make sure the jail is taken care of appropriately.
The juveniles are expected to be relocated by March 31.
Copyright 2018 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.