INDIANAPOLIS — It’s been more than fifty years since Marion County opened fully updated jail and courts facilities in Indianapolis.
Soon, the new $566 million Community Justice Center in Twin Aire will throw open its doors for a new Marion County Jail and civil and criminal courts.
“The courts are currently scheduled to move in the second and third weeks of February,” Sarah Riordan, Executive Director of the Indianapolis Public Improvement Bond Bank recently told the Criminal Justice Planning Council. “With respect to the adult detention center, that move will take place in the month of January. The sheriff is keeping the specific dates of the move of inmates from Jail One and Jail Two under wraps for obvious reasons.”
The change of locale comes as the Marion County Sheriff discontinues some of the arrestee services its provided for more than a decade to IMPD, including the transportation of arrestees and the securing of injured persons under arrest at Eskenazi Hospital.
“If we can do something here that we don’t have to drive to Eskenazi, it’s better for everybody and the tax dollars,” Sheriff Kerry Forestal told Fox 59 News last month.
At the time, Forestal estimated he could reassign 25 deputies providing transportation and security services to his new jail which has space for up to nearly 3000 people.
Forestal said he is short one hundred employees.
In mid-December, the jail population stood at 2128 inmates at Jail One and Jail Two, the privately operated county jail.
Forestal estimates the closure of Jail Two will take an annual $18 million expenditure off his books, though, staffing the new jail will increase manpower costs and ultimately save him $7 million per year.
Last week the sheriff cut side deals with the police departments of Cumberland, Beech Grove, Southport, Lawrence and Speedway to continue transporting arrestees and providing security at Eskenazi for persons arrested for violent crimes.
IMPD was not included in that agreement and this weekend was forced to take a detective out of the rotation for several hours to secure an injured arrestee at the hospital.
Metro PD said it will resort to paying officers overtime to transport arrestees while also stepping up the hiring and assignment of public safety officers to drive jail wagons.
While the move of Marion County’s courts is still a month off, judges are hoping that time can be used to iron out bugs in the courtrooms which will be housed several floors below their offices in the new building.
During a recent tour of the courthouse, four judges were stuck in an elevator for 15 minutes.
One told Fox59 News that the judges were also seeking enhanced computer port access in their new courtrooms.