Allen County courts want the jail to stay downtown, at least in part
Allen Superior Judge Fran Gull serves as the administrative judge for Allen County's criminal courts, including everything from pretrial services to community corrections.
She says she has always believed the county jail needs to remain, at least in part, downtown, where all court services are housed.
And the Allen County Commissioners’ formal plan does not put the jail close.
Gull cites the recent killing of a Marion County deputy by a murder suspect during transport as a reason to minimize the distance.
Gull says the courts were never given any other options to the one that has been presented so far to the public--the old International Harvester site five miles southeast of the courthouse.
She says that the commissioners have not listened to the courts themselves about what is needed in a jail, and where it should be.
In a written response to Gull’s comments, the commissioners said they met with her numerous times after the initial federal lawsuit was filed in 2020, but the $300 million plan has not changed since May of 2022.
It was that federal lawsuit that forced Allen County to correct issues in the jail, specifically staffing, overcrowding, and safety.
While the plan was adopted and land purchased, the Allen County Council has yet been able to pass a funding package, drawing the ire of the federal judge monitoring the issues.