Using Community Corrections beds not an option for Vigo jail

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Tribune-Star on Mar 14, 2017 by Howard Greninger

Exec Director: It’s two different kinds of custody, housing

Vigo County’s Community Corrections Center has available bed space, but that doesn’t mean those beds can be used to accommodate jail inmates.

Rather, Executive Director Bill Watson said Tuesday, Community Corrections is obligated to serve several counties besides Vigo, and the legal and correctional standards for placement there are quite different than in a jail.

Watson was answering a question put to the Vigo County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday by county resident David McGowan, who said he has heard the corrections facility has available space. He wondered why that space could not be used to ease overcrowding at Vigo County Jail.

Watson said unlike the county jail, people placed into Community Corrections have to pay for their food and medical care and do their own laundry while at the facility. People also have to qualify to enter the program, he added.

“You can’t take [jail inmates] and just say ‘I am going to move them over there [in Community Corrections] and hold them like they are in jail in another county.’ We legally cannot do that,” Watson said.

“You can’t just hold them in the work release center like you are holding them in the jail,” Watson said, “because then you get into statutorily what they are required to have as far as law library, exercise, meals, certain things like that.

“Those are things that not provided in a work release center,” Watson said.  READ ON