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PROBLEMS ON THE HORIZON: Jail near capacity

February 26, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — They have to go somewhere.

This is a problem currently facing the Whitley County Jail. As the facility nears the maximum of its inmate population, there is the problem of where offenders would go if the numbers exceeded capacity.

Whitley County Sheriff Mark Hodges said it is a problem that he and his corrections department soon may encounter.

As of Thursday, the jail had 140 inmates with 150 beds, but, as the sheriff explained, the calculations aren’t that simple.

“On paper, you have 150 beds and 140 inmates, but the math does not work that way,” he said.

Hodges explained there is a cell block just for female inmates. If that block is not at capacity then there are beds empty which are unavailable for male offenders.

A similar issue exists with the lock down cell block. Inmates thought to be a danger to themselves and others are kept there, and if there are empty beds in that block, Hodges said general population offenders would not be moved over to fill space.

If there ever was a point when the jail lacked beds, Hodges said there are a variety of options available.

To read the rest of this story, see the Feb. 26 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.

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