As the discussion of a new Starke County Jail has progressed, the question is how many beds the facility should have. In recent months, the county jail has had times when the facility was housing up to 80 prisoners.
When planning for a new jail that could be in operation for 40 years, it is important to consider how many prisoners could be housed at one time.
The state correctional facilities are also overcrowded and there are plans being discussed to have “D” Felony prisoners serve their time in the county jail. If that happens, the population at the Starke County Jail would increase considerably. Senator Jim Arnold, of LaPorte, whose new district will take in part of Starke County, addressed that topic at a recent meeting with the jail committee.
“The State is looking right now at getting legislation passed that will relieve them of their overcrowding and those with ‘D’ felonies, when they’re sentenced, they’re either going to go to Community Corrections or they are going to serve their time in the county jail. Legislation is very much under consideration and whether or not it’ll see the light of day in this session or not, I don’t know. I would say for county officials, you better keep your eyes focused down state.”
Senator Arnold had also advised to build a facility outside of Knox. If that is considered, he said that a small courtroom should be added to the jail for arraignments.