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7/13/2017 5:48:00 PM
Harrison County to relieve jail overcrowding by sending inmates to Washington County

Ross Schulz, Corydon Democrat

The Harrison County Sheriff's Dept. has agreed to send 30 or so of its inmates to the Washington County Jail in Salem to help with overcrowding issues, Sheriff Rodney (Rod) Seelye reported to the Harrison County Council Monday night.

The plan will cost approximately $459,000 per year for Harrison County, a figure much less than the previously proposed jail expansion plan.

The jail and Justice Center expansion plan would have required $750,000 in additional corrections officer (12 officers) funding above the $15 million initial facility expansion cost.

Seelye said it fixes the overcrowding problem and "buys" the county 10 to 12 years before something else may need to be done.

"I don't think this is kicking the can down the road," Seelye said. "They're making a commitment to us. I believe if we foster a good relationship, they'll be able to grow with us."

The Harrison County Jail currently is overcrowded, with 173 inmates, seven of whom are housed in the Crawford County Jail.

The jail was deemed overcrowded in June 2016 by the state jail inspector, who said the facility exceeded the rated capacity on the day of inspection by six inmates.

In September of last year, Seelye said, 56 female inmates were in the jail, exactly doubling the alloted bed space for female inmates.

Eleven females were transferred to Crawford County at a cost of $35 each per day to lessen the overcrowding.

Washington County has a capacity of 240 inmates and currently only houses 100.

It will cost $42 per day per inmate at Washington County.

The inmates will still be under the jurisdiction and responsibility of Harrison County.

"Washington County is going to make some money on this deal, and we're going to save a bunch of money on the deal," Seelye said. "So, this is county government doing what it's supposed to be doing."

He said they'll begin to move inmates to Salem in August.

Related Stories:
• Hoosier sheriffs want state help with jail issues: overcrowding, mental health issues
• Fountain County commissioners table jail decision
• St. Joseph County Jail absorbs state prisoners without more money
• It remains tight quarters at Madison County Jail - 37 percent overcapacity
• Madison County Jail population reaches record level with 316 inmates in last week
• Fountain County Commissioners advance jail project
• Vigo County seeks 1 percent bump in local income tax to help pay for new jail
• Indiana sheriffs to be surveyed on jail overcrowding
• Sheriff: New jail plan could save Floyd County millions

Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR

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