Local group hoping for change in Allen County Jail

Published: Mar. 20, 2022 at 11:26 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - JAVA which stands for Justice, Accountability & Victims Advocacy held a meeting Sunday afternoon about jail injustices that might occur within the Allen County Jail.

The goal of this meeting was to bring awareness and have the community understand what might happen in the jail.

“It just shows that people do care in this community and I’ll tell you there are people here who’ve never been to jail and don’t have a loved one in there, but they care and that’s what we should do.”

JAVA member Nicole Gaunt says they received multiple letters from inmates telling them about their experiences in jail.

“I was very encouraged, another stereotype that are being incarcerated are dumb that they’re not creative and I’ll tell you that I seen the best penmendship and grammar and words I didn’t even know what they meant and had to look them up on Google and I have a masters degree,” she said.

At Calvary United Methodist Church, JAVA organized this meeting. Some people read testimonies about their own experience or a loved one’s experience.

There were four main points the group wanted to address:

  • Denied medical care and/or prescription medications within the jail
  • Drug use or distribution within the jail by inmates or staff
  • Denied mental health treatment
  • Denied safe detox.

Gaunt says there is a lack of transparency and it needs to change

“Our focus is on what is going on with people inside that jail. We want to bring back treatment. We want to bring back people being treated humanely. We want to go back to mental health services being offered, medical services being offered. There are minimal rights that even incarcerated people still deserve and I don’t think until people actually experience it themselves or a loved one or someone they care about go through it, they don’t know exactly what goes on down there,” she said

Gaunt says when she asked about making changes like medical care and mental health, she was told the jail can’t afford it.

ABC21 reached out to the Allen County Sheriff’s Department to get a response to the concerns about conditions inside the jail. We were told we would get a response Monday.

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