Group opposing new Allen County jail releases study presenting alternatives to new facility

Published: Jul. 5, 2023 at 10:23 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - On the lawn of the Allen County courthouse, members of the Help Not Handcuffs Coalition reviewed their key findings in their assessment of the county jail.

BACKGROUND: Neighbors continue to oppose plan for new Allen County jail - New Allen County Jail: Who will pay?

Findings, they say, are important for people to access.

“Just having more data available that describes where we’re at and what we need to know improves democracy, frankly,” Timothy Murphy with Help Not Handcuffs said.

The group hopes to convince county leaders to consider alternatives to building a larger jail.

Notably, the group is pushing reforms to who gets put in jail as a way to address the overcrowding problem.

But, as they push for change, they feel other solutions aren’t being considered.

“No one has really been paying attention or when they try, they can’t get the information they need and it’s crazy to me that we’re going to build this $350 million new project based on very limited information that would support it,” Tony Borton with Help Not Handcuffs said.

The completion of the report comes before the next county council meeting where a decision could be made to raise income taxed to pay for a new jail.

Those in opposition are hoping county leaders will carefully think about that decision.

“If county council’s going to make a decision about a tax for multiple decades, they should at least read the report and understand who’s in the jail and why and also the limitations of the data we have available and how to make that better so we have good, educated, wise decisions that effect us for generations,” Murphy said.

You can read the full, 40-page assessment below: