Organization against new Allen County Jail shares their building plans with community

Published: Sep. 10, 2023 at 9:32 AM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - On Saturday a local organization against the building of a new Allen County Jail held a town hall meeting to share their plans to help fix the county’s existing jail problems.

RELATED REPORTS: New Allen County Jail Updates

Allen County officials are in the process of finalizing plans for a new jail. The new facility is due to a federal judge ruling in favor of inmates who said the jail was unconstitutional.

The ruling demanded Allen County leaders address concerns about overcrowding, staffing, and treatment of inmates. Commissioners proposed building a new jail at the old International Harvester (IH) facility on Meyer Road but funding was shot down by the county council last month.

Saturday, the group Help Not Handcuffs along with residents surrounding the IH facility shared what they would like to see done with the jail.

Here’s a look at their plan:

  • Finish floors 4 to 6 in the current Allen County Jail
  • Turn the annex building into a mental health facility
  • Build an additional two-story pod structure in the current jail parking lot.

In addition, the group would like the county to do an independent engineering study to see if this plan will work. The group says their plan will add 616 beds and only cost 145 million dollars.

Under the Allen County Commissioner’s current plan, the cost to build a new jail on Meyer Road will be $250 million.

The group is planning on holding a rally on Wed. Sept. 20 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. outside Citizen Square. Following the rally Allen County Council will hold a public hearing inside Citizen Square at 7 p.m.

Allen County Commissioners will be back in front of the Federal judge later this month.