Commissioners consider opening third jail pod

By Cecilia Fox -

MIAMI COUNTY — After evaluating the options and meeting with Miami County Sheriff’s Office staff, the county may soon be opening a third pod of the Incarceration Facility.

At their meeting Thursday, the Miami County Commissioners met with Sheriff Charles Cox, Chief Deputy Dave Duchak, and jail administrator Dave Norman to discuss the possibility of opening a third pod to house female inmates.

Commissioners Bud O’Brien and Jack Evans expressed an interest in opening a third pod, but no action was taken.

Commissioner Richard Cultice pointed out most of the money needed is already included in next year’s budget, because the department budgeted funds to continue housing female inmates in Shelby County through 2016.

Currently the county spends about $55 a day on each female inmate housed out of county. There are on average around 45 female inmates housed both at the downtown location and in Shelby County.

Norman told commissioners that by opening a third pod, the county could pursue renting space to other counties. He explained that other counties statewide are facing the same problems housing female inmates as Miami County.

“Everybody’s struggling just like we are,” Norman said.

Sheriff’s Office staff also pointed out that moving the women to the Incarceration Facility would lower the number of inmates housed downtown to the state recommended 48.

It would also allow for the county to offer more education programs to female inmates, they said.

Opening a third pod would also require the department to hire and train two new jail employees.

By Cecilia Fox