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Allen County Jail population and violent incidents up in recent report to federal court.

The population at the Allen County Jail has gone up, and stayed up, since the last federal hearing on overcrowding and other issues.

According to federal court documents, the number of inmates forced to sleep on “boats” or temporary beds has also gone up, as has the number of violent incidents within the downtown facility.

Allen County Sheriff Troy Hershberger made the report to the U.S. District Court earlier this week, a requirement of a federal lawsuit filed in 2020 by the ACLU on behalf of inmates.

Staffing at the jail has increased, and will continue to do so after recent approval by the Allen County Council.

However, Hershberger says that the department has been unable to make additional progress on reducing the population, which is around 715 inmates and well above the 585 desired by the ACLU.

Hershberger says he has asked stakeholders, such as the courts and the Allen County Prosecutor to help find ways to decrease the number behind bars.

In their report, ACLU attorneys expressed cautious optimism about the approvedfundingfor the planned 1,340-bed jail slated to cost more than $300 million, but were concerned about the increases in population and incidents.

The ACLU urges the speedy construction of the new jail as a permanent solution to the problem.

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.