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Commissioners get look at potential jail plans

Changes to the Allen County Jail are starting to take shape after architectural designs were revealed during Friday’s commissioners meeting.

Elevatus Architecture President Cory Miller spoke to the board, and shared a 17-page slide presentation for the proposed Allen County Justice Center.

Planning for a new jail has been underway for months after a federal judge ordered the Allen County Sheriff and Commissioners to do something about overcrowding at the aging and landlocked facility downtown.

The planning concepts shown Friday show a largely horizontal structure, low-profile with space to expand for the future.

Miller described it to the commissioners as a “civic” looking space.

It could include housing pods that provide indoor and outdoor recreation spaces that do not require inmates to move throughout the facility. There would be about 250 beds in each pod, according to the presentation.

The current jail has limited medical and dental capabilities. The proposal would allow for multiple beds, triage area, and potentially dialysis and physical therapy.

Mental health treatment space is also included in the plans, and it would vary from how the judicial section of the facility would look and feel.

Four potential sites are currently being considered.

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.