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Allen County Commissioners narrow down jail sites to four

Allen County Board of Commissioners

The Allen County Commissioners are narrowing down potential locations for a new jail.

Eight properties around the county have been screened, with officials looking at proximity to medical, judicial and law enforcement facilities. They are also considering impact on existing or potential development as well as the capacity to handle increased traffic.

According to a press release sent out earlier this week, the commissioners are down to four potential sites.

The county decided not to expand the current jail, currently nestled downtown alongside Headwaters Park, and two blocks from the Allen County Courthouse and other county and city offices.

A federal judge ruled earlier this year that Allen County must address overcrowding at the jail in response to a class-action lawsuit alleging poor conditions.

County officials decided that a new jail is the easiest way to meet the requirements of the federal court order. Adding onto the current jail would cost more than $25 million and only add about 235 beds.

Rebecca manages the news at WBOI. She joined the staff in December 2017, and brought with her nearly two decades of experience in print journalism, including 15 years as an award-winning reporter for the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne.