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: 113337

Reported Deaths: 3530
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20936761
Lake10334319
Elkhart6438109
St. Joseph6226103
Allen6060200
Hamilton4761109
Vanderburgh349430
Hendricks2681122
Monroe251236
Tippecanoe231213
Johnson2279123
Clark215756
Porter209046
Cass19339
Delaware189561
Vigo178524
Madison161075
LaPorte138239
Floyd132161
Howard129063
Warrick122336
Kosciusko120617
Bartholomew115357
Marshall99424
Dubois95918
Boone95646
Hancock91443
Grant89733
Noble89432
Henry78125
Wayne74714
Jackson7429
Morgan70638
Shelby66629
Daviess65428
Dearborn63928
LaGrange63211
Clinton59513
Harrison56424
Putnam53810
Lawrence50628
Montgomery50521
Knox5039
Gibson4894
White48214
DeKalb46311
Decatur45739
Miami4303
Greene41935
Fayette41813
Jasper3862
Steuben3747
Scott35910
Sullivan33112
Jennings31212
Posey3090
Franklin30325
Clay2985
Orange28624
Ripley2828
Carroll27113
Wabash2628
Washington2611
Whitley2556
Starke2537
Adams2523
Wells2503
Jefferson2443
Fulton2352
Huntington2223
Spencer2223
Tipton22022
Perry21513
Randolph2097
Jay1750
Newton17211
Owen1671
Martin1640
Rush1534
Pike1411
Vermillion1260
Fountain1202
Pulaski1151
Blackford1133
Brown1033
Crawford1030
Parke961
Benton880
Ohio777
Union770
Switzerland690
Warren391
Unassigned0225

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 146753

Reported Deaths: 4687
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin26393606
Cuyahoga17262654
Hamilton12913312
Montgomery7623157
Lucas7205361
Butler5771106
Summit5202250
Marion307547
Mahoning3014280
Warren297848
Stark2790170
Pickaway264144
Lorain229386
Delaware218820
Fairfield205852
Columbiana192380
Licking188362
Trumbull1861131
Clark176439
Wood175272
Clermont166521
Lake159650
Medina144239
Greene139732
Miami139451
Allen139369
Portage111066
Mercer108517
Erie92645
Tuscarawas92020
Wayne91367
Ross86523
Richland81519
Madison79212
Darke78041
Belmont71427
Geauga70948
Hancock67610
Ashtabula65348
Athens6362
Lawrence62722
Shelby59710
Auglaize5769
Putnam56823
Sandusky55820
Huron5387
Union5092
Scioto4826
Ottawa46630
Seneca46414
Preble42515
Muskingum3862
Holmes3787
Jefferson3334
Henry30713
Logan3053
Champaign3003
Perry2929
Defiance28610
Clinton28413
Brown2832
Knox28215
Morrow2552
Washington25523
Hardin25213
Jackson2414
Fulton2391
Coshocton23211
Ashland2314
Crawford2286
Fayette2276
Highland2223
Williams2053
Wyandot20512
Gallia18812
Meigs17410
Pike1740
Hocking1619
Guernsey1608
Carroll1517
Adams1264
Van Wert1143
Monroe11018
Paulding1060
Harrison622
Morgan470
Vinton453
Noble270
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 59°
Angola
57° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 57°
Huntington
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 55°
Decatur
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 54°
Van Wert
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 54°
Sunny, Pleasant Friday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events