Starke County’s new jail is ready for occupancy. Officials celebrated the completion of the 144 bed, state-of-the-art facility yesterday with a public dedication and ribbon cutting, attended by more than 300 people. The $15.4 million project came in on time and under budget and gives Starke County the distinction of going from the oldest jail in the state to the newest. The old facility across from the courthouse opened in 1977. It will be renovated into office space for Starke County Community Corrections and the probation department.
Construction of the new jail east of Knox on State Road 8 started in November of 2013 and took about 18 months. The building will also house office space for the sheriff and the county’s 911 dispatch center. A new courtroom will also accommodate both criminal proceedings and video arraignment to lessen the need to move prisoners between the jail and circuit and city court in downtown Knox. Prisoners will move into the new facility sometime after June 1st.
WKVI will air excerpts from the dedication ceremony and interviews with the officials involved in the project on Sunday at noon CDT on the weekly “Kankakee Valley Viewpoints” public affairs show. Photos from the dedication are posted on the station’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152777738121507.1073741853.369157981506&type=1