Public invited to tour new Hamilton County jail expansion

Renderings of Hamilton County Jail expansion

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. — Hamilton County officials will hold a ribbon cutting for their new jail expansion this morning.

The $13.5 million dollar project includes 120 new beds, an indoor recreation center, a classroom, and a medical supply area. A second phase of the project could add an additional 136 beds.

Overcrowding at the jail has been an issue for years.

The facility was built 25 years ago to hold about 300 inmates. Right now, officials say they have about 400 people locked up.

Officials say change in state law in 2016 added to the county’s woes. House Bill 1006 requires lower-level felons to serve their terms in county jails rather than state prisons.

“We’ve tried everything,” Steve Dillinger, president of the Hamilton County County Commissioners, said. “We even moved the female inmates from the jail pod to the juvenile facility. That’s what has allowed us to get by up until now, but we’ve run out of options and needed to make more room.”

Officials are inviting the public to see the new expansion and tour the facility tonight. “Slumber in the Slammer 2.0” takes place with a guided tour from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. with financial donations accepted.

Activities continue tomorrow, June 29, with guided tours taking place at 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Reservations and a $5 per person charge are required with proceeds benefiting the Chaplain’s Division. To sign up for either event, click here.

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