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Move of inmates to new Marion County jail is underway

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Nearly 200 women, juveniles and inmate workers began moving into the new Marion County Jail on Monday, and the process continued into the weekend.

“Our population is served by the inmate workers” Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal said. “They are fed and clothed and supervised by deputy sheriffs and detention deputies, but the labor is provided by the inmates themselves.”

The $566 million facility, known as the Indianapolis-Marion County Community Justice Campus, replaces the old Marion County jail, which opened in 1962, and a second county jail.

Inmates will be given electronic tablets to conduct more visits with family and friends.

“Here, a lot of things as far as medical requests, requests to see our chaplains, requests for programming services, and things of that nature can be done through our tablets, which is responsible for a quicker and more efficient response,” Chief Deputy Tanesha Crear said.

Once the county court system moves to the new building, inmates can move from their cells to the courtroom without leaving the facility.

The jail includes modern medical facilities and mental health services.

The Democrat sheriff said, “We have 32 beds in here now. If we don’t have to take them to Eskenazi (hospital) and we can treat them here, it’s better to bring the medical care in here than take the risk of bringing them out into the community again.”

Forestal is asking those who see the inmates being moved to give the caravan some extra space.

“Anybody that had a foolish idea thought this would be a good time to get their friend out, they would be met with heavy resistance. Nobody is going to leave this motorcade without us choosing them to,” he said.

Over the course of the next couple weeks, all 2,210 inmates will be moved into the new jail.

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