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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.

Cases: 578494

Reported Deaths: 9202
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion798821282
Lake43601664
Allen31380537
Hamilton27675303
St. Joseph26409369
Elkhart23873336
Vanderburgh18192211
Tippecanoe16999116
Porter14183158
Johnson14120277
Hendricks13560236
Madison10312209
Vigo10297171
Clark9952128
Monroe8933105
Delaware8638129
LaPorte8589153
Kosciusko777375
Howard7712136
Warrick624990
Hancock621995
Bartholomew616094
Floyd5971105
Wayne5811155
Grant5716108
Dubois533570
Boone523167
Morgan501485
Marshall487084
Henry483262
Cass464959
Noble453956
Dearborn443343
Jackson410145
Shelby394376
Lawrence374172
Clinton359838
Gibson348556
DeKalb333063
Montgomery329150
Knox323339
Harrison317242
Miami305043
Steuben300740
Adams291635
Ripley287145
Wabash286345
Whitley286324
Huntington278757
Putnam278046
Jasper274933
White262038
Daviess255671
Jefferson242738
Fayette239248
Decatur237382
Greene229259
Posey225626
Wells225146
LaGrange222061
Scott212837
Clay212432
Randolph204940
Jennings188635
Sullivan185831
Spencer176917
Fountain175125
Washington170216
Starke169241
Jay160521
Fulton156829
Owen155536
Carroll150115
Orange146333
Rush145618
Vermillion141633
Perry141327
Franklin139333
Parke12718
Tipton126232
Pike111325
Blackford105122
Pulaski93636
Newton87820
Brown84428
Benton83010
Crawford7229
Martin68013
Warren6427
Switzerland6035
Union6033
Ohio4547
Unassigned0372

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 807293

Reported Deaths: 9990
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin95508704
Cuyahoga80262964
Hamilton59783436
Montgomery40858396
Summit32488697
Lucas29495575
Butler29100225
Stark24048388
Warren18471135
Lorain17563207
Mahoning16430334
Lake14941134
Clermont14703103
Delaware1349574
Licking12353132
Trumbull12096297
Fairfield1184280
Greene11338132
Medina10815164
Clark10334261
Wood9742153
Allen9355126
Miami867373
Portage8628104
Richland8604111
Marion7231112
Tuscarawas6987172
Columbiana6922124
Pickaway689050
Wayne6599162
Muskingum648939
Erie5729117
Hancock529088
Ross518287
Scioto508753
Geauga469955
Darke450589
Ashtabula431467
Union422327
Mercer419485
Lawrence417051
Sandusky413262
Auglaize407059
Shelby404621
Seneca404354
Huron399738
Jefferson391565
Belmont378140
Putnam359370
Washington357039
Athens35469
Madison331128
Knox329022
Ashland322538
Fulton319043
Defiance311476
Crawford306769
Preble306434
Brown289617
Logan284828
Ottawa275534
Clinton272741
Williams265757
Highland255618
Jackson250743
Guernsey234625
Champaign233727
Fayette218929
Morrow21754
Holmes215562
Perry215317
Henry206147
Hardin200932
Coshocton194517
Van Wert193744
Wyandot186948
Gallia186226
Adams160815
Pike160116
Hocking157423
Carroll143216
Paulding137521
Noble116138
Meigs99021
Monroe93827
Harrison8428
Morgan75826
Vinton64013
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