Sheriff’s office complex sees reorganization

By Sadie Hunter

 

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office has recently made changes to how the campus at 18000 Cumberland Rd, Noblesville is run.

The sheriff’s office is relocating and reorganizing offenders to different buildings and areas in an effort to accommodate the influx of inmates.

Hamilton County Commissioner Steve Dillinger addressed the issue in January.

“We have a jail capacity at around 294 (inmates). We are running now at as much as 400,” Dillinger said at the Jan. 25 event. “That is not a good thing. It creates a lot of safety concerns.”

At the event, Dillinger said the likely solution to overcrowding would be to relocate female prisoners to the underutilized juvenile detention center, which can house up to 78 juveniles but only regularly houses 8 to 13. Dillinger said juveniles would be relocated to the former juvenile facility, which is being remodeled.

Now, both things have happened.

As part of a long-term plan to address the situation, juvenile offenders in secure detention have been relocated to a different area of the property. The rehabilitation of the former Juvenile Detention Center is complete. Juveniles held in secure detention were transferred to the building earlier this month. Juveniles housed in Shelter Care remain in the current facility.

“The new Juvenile Detention Center is actually the area that housed juvenile offenders prior to the opening in 2008 of the Juvenile Services Center,” a statement from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office reads. “The building saw a variety of uses in the past years, including office space and most recently housing maximum security adult inmates.”

As a result of relocating juvenile offenders, space has opened to house a growing female inmate population.

“Moving the female population in turn creates more room at the current adult jail to accommodate the male population,” the sheriff’s office statement said.

The sheriff’s office said the inmate housing configuration, which maximizes available bed space on the campus, is expected to last until an expansion of the Hamilton County Jail is completed. The expansion is set to break ground sometime this year. A date has not been set.

 

Ireland

Along with the transfer of juveniles to a new area, Sheriff Mark Bowen has appointed Captain Kija Ireland as commander of the Juvenile Division.

Ireland is the first female deputy to oversee a division at the sheriff’s office. She has worked in a variety of positions as a merit deputy since 1998, most recently serving as a detective in the Investigations Division.

Captain Jeff Marcum, who headed the Juvenile Division for many years, is assisting Ireland during the transition period and also working in the Investigations Division.

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