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Allen County Jail overcrowded, Sheriff fears numbers will increase

With an increase in people going behind bars for opioid use, and a rise in crime, the inmate population at the Allen County Jail is up. So much so, that it is now overcrowded. What is the county doing to tackle the problem?

Posted: May 23, 2018 6:01 PM
Updated: May 24, 2018 11:39 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind (WFFT)- From the outside, the Allen County Jail may look big, but it's actually running out of room to house inmates.

"We're sitting today at 807 inmates in a 741 bed jail, so quite a bit overcrowded," said Allen County Sheriff David Gladieux.

And the number is on the rise.

"The last two weeks I was right at 100 over," said Gladieux.

Gladieux says an uptick in crimes like thefts, burglaries, armed robberies and homicides contribute to the problem, but his biggest issue is when people violate their probation.

"A lot of times it's an automatic go to jail until the court is ready to hear from you and it takes a couple of weeks, sometimes longer for the courts to find out what's going to happen in the long term."

To help curb the problem, Gladeiux talks with judges to encourage them to shorten sentences or let people out on probation.

"I'm not opposed to them being locked up, but when we're overcrowded like this it puts us in a bad spot."

A new program called the 'Inmate Work Crew' keeps low-risk offenders outside cleaning up trash during the day. The sheriff says he's working on finding ways to keep it less crowded inside.

"We're just going to make as many inmates as we can trust and get them to work, and get them out on the streets to clean up roads or get them working in the kitchen."

But that only makes more room in the jail during the day, but what about at night?

"Unfortunately we have to put them on what we call boats. They're plastic- like a plastic bunk that sits right on the floor but its about 8 inches off the floor."

Most of the cells are two bed cells, but with the boats there are now three people to a cell.

Now that it's warming up outside, the sheriff is concerned about the increase in crime, which he fears will make the overcrowding here at the jail worse.

"When the place gets crowded, it gets hot and tempers start to flair and it gets rather uncomfortable," said Gladieux.

With an increase in people behind bars, staff and inmate safety issues arise.

"We've had a lot of fights here in the recent weeks and months. I've had confinement officers hurt."

Overcrowding is also increasing the workload of jail employees.

"It may make the day a little bit busier as far as getting inmates down for court, higher numbers for court or higher numbers for medical appointments or anything like that," said Sgt. Thomas Derose.

Although the population size has increased, Derose said the overall environment hasn't changed much.

"I've been walking through the jail for years and like right now, it's not different from what it was years ago," said Derose.

Gladieux says by the end of the year, he thinks he'll be over budget. The State gives Allen County $35 a day per inmate.

"It's about $50 dollars a day per inmate, so it gets expensive and it gets expensive quick. The citizens of Allen County are picking up that bill and I don't think that's fair."

Overcrowding isn't just in Allen County, it's all over the state too, so transporting inmates to other jails isn't the best option. However, there is a work release center that's getting upgrades, so once that's finished, there will be space to house a few inmates.

If you do see inmates on the side of the road, do not be alarmed, they are closely monitored and outside for the inmate work crew program. The sheriff asks drivers to slow down for everyone's safety while driving past.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32437

Reported Deaths: 2030
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9371546
Lake3347170
Cass15867
Allen135366
St. Joseph121834
Hendricks113567
Hamilton112391
Johnson1092104
Elkhart107028
Madison58259
Porter49521
Bartholomew48634
Clark47141
LaPorte41523
Tippecanoe3803
Howard37620
Jackson3681
Delaware35936
Hancock32327
Shelby32121
Floyd31539
Boone29335
Morgan27024
Vanderburgh2532
Montgomery23317
White2288
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Grant19521
Noble19221
Harrison18821
Dubois1852
Henry1709
Greene16824
Warrick16528
Dearborn16421
Monroe16211
Vigo1507
Lawrence14623
Miami1391
Putnam1347
Jennings1284
Orange12422
Scott1183
Ripley1136
Franklin1068
Kosciusko971
Carroll932
Daviess8416
Marshall801
Steuben802
Wayne755
Newton7410
Wabash732
Fayette714
Jasper621
LaGrange622
Washington521
Fulton471
Jay460
Randolph453
Rush452
Jefferson421
Whitley412
Clay411
Pulaski400
Owen341
Sullivan331
DeKalb331
Brown331
Starke313
Perry260
Wells260
Huntington262
Knox250
Benton250
Tipton241
Crawford230
Blackford202
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Parke180
Spencer171
Posey160
Gibson142
Ohio130
Warren121
Adams121
Vermillion100
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0159

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33439

Reported Deaths: 2044
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin5486243
Cuyahoga4137224
Marion262823
Hamilton2523131
Lucas2162233
Pickaway204635
Mahoning1367173
Summit1315160
Butler82626
Stark70091
Columbiana68250
Lorain65959
Montgomery61716
Trumbull54447
Belmont40312
Miami35130
Warren34419
Tuscarawas3264
Ashtabula31633
Portage31357
Medina31020
Delaware30213
Lake28712
Wood28045
Geauga26129
Wayne25650
Fairfield2484
Clark2316
Licking21811
Mercer2014
Allen20132
Clermont1975
Richland1893
Erie1635
Darke15619
Madison1447
Washington11819
Crawford1103
Morrow1041
Greene985
Ottawa9412
Putnam8714
Monroe7412
Sandusky7011
Hocking694
Ross672
Jefferson652
Auglaize643
Huron551
Williams521
Hancock481
Muskingum460
Union460
Clinton430
Hardin410
Shelby402
Wyandot372
Fayette370
Logan370
Fulton360
Coshocton340
Defiance332
Guernsey330
Preble311
Holmes291
Carroll293
Lawrence280
Champaign271
Brown251
Knox231
Highland191
Seneca192
Vinton191
Ashland190
Perry181
Athens181
Henry150
Scioto150
Paulding130
Jackson120
Harrison100
Adams81
Gallia71
Van Wert60
Pike60
Meigs60
Noble50
Morgan50
Unassigned00
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