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ACLU of Indiana seeks prisoner release order for Allen County Jail

The ACLU of Indiana announced Monday it intends to seek a prisoner release order from the Allen County Jail.

The announcement comes after the Indiana Tax Court ruled a group opposing the funding plan for the county’s new $300 million jail does not have to post a more than $90 million bond for that case to proceed.

Until issues around the project financing are resolved, the ruling effectively halts construction of the new jail, which was supposed to begin early this summer. The case questioned whether the county can use the historic Allen County Courthouse as collateral for construction bonds.

The Allen County Commissioners said construction cannot begin while the collateral is in question.

The new jail is Allen County’s response to a federal court order to address unconstitutional conditions, such as overcrowding, at the current jail in downtown Fort Wayne.

In Monday’s status report filing, the ACLU said the current jail population remains “unacceptably high” and the long term solution “remains nowhere in sight.”

Allen County Sheriff Troy Hershberger said a prisoner release would mean moving prisoners in the Allen County Jail to other facilities or into alternative programs. He said it would not mean releasing violent criminals back into the community.

The Allen County Commissioners said they are consulting with their attorneys and do not have a comment at this time.

Tony Sandleben joined the WBOI News team in September of 2022.
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