From an article in the Indiana Daily Student:
There are 272 people living in the Monroe County jail, which is only meant to hold 200 people. About 70 people sleep on the floor each night.
With this many people filling the jail, Monroe County could face a federal lawsuit because of its lack of compliance with state and federal laws that state all inmates must have their own beds. The sheriff’s department and others want to build a new jail while some in the community think that there are better options.
Mark Stoops, who is also running for county commissioner, believes that a new jail is not the best option.
“The current jail is not in good shape, but when it’s broken down, we can’t afford a new jail,” Stoops said. “If we build a new jail of the capacity of 450, we will fill it fairly quickly. We will have to pay for food and medical expenses and we can’t afford the people we have now.”
Stoops thinks the solution is to work on keeping the jail population down. Besides having a lot of probation violators in jail, people who can’t pay their $500 cash bond must also stay in jail, Stoops said.
“It seems (it) would be better to use the money for a new jail instead to keep the jail population down,” Stoops said. “Use that money for an intensive treatment center to turn people around or for kids and juvenile offenders so when they get older they can hopefully turn their lives around.”