GREENSBURG — The Decatur County Sheriff’s Department still expects inmates to move in to the new Decatur County Detention Center in March.
The new jail will help alleviate a jail overcrowding issue Decatur County has faced for quite some time.
Original plans allow for 246 inmates to be held at the new jail facility, which sits on S. Ireland Street near the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department.
Decatur County Sheriff Dave Durant has said previously extra beds could be added.
The current jail, excluding the beds provided by the temporary facility, was originally built to serve 66 inmates. Accommodations were later made to increase that number to 85.
Not only will the jail address the overcrowding issue at the current facility, but there could be new programs for inmates to help prepare them for life outside of jail.
“We’re still looking at moving over in mid to late March,” Durant said. “We’re still not sure on an exact date.”
Durant said training is currently ongoing for jail staff.
“We are training in one facility and working in another,” Durant said. “I have a tremendous staff, but it has been a lot of work for everyone.”
Currently, Durant is advocating moving the jail pods that currently sit next to the current jail over to the new facility.
The 3,400 square-foot jail pod facility is built to house up to 48 inmates.
“Right now, we are trying desperately to get the commissioners and council to move that to the new facility,” Durant said. “I’ve been a vocal advocate for this.”
The sheriff said he hopes to use that as a rehabilitation facility.
“My main concern has always been to use that for evidence and faith-based rehabilitation to help teach life skills they otherwise may not have gotten,” Durant said.
Durant has previously said it is equally important for him to help inmates make changes, and then maybe they don’t come back and they help better their lives and the lives of their family.
Decatur County Detention Center Commander Dana Parker has said the new facility will have a lot of independent cells and that it will be safer for both inmates and employees.