Friday, February 1, 2008

Inmate Housing Idea Released

Transitional facility plans abandoned
But the problem of inmate re-entry won't go away, officials say
Link (NS)

"Lack of funding and a questionable location have apparently scuttled a proposed downtown transitional housing facility for newly released prisoners.

But with about 400 inmates returning to Allen County each year, officials know they still have to deal with the problem – one way or another.

“We can’t get the money we need to do it downtown, so we’re putting a new building on the back burner,” County Commissioner Bill Brown said, referring to a 200-bed, $12 million facility tentatively planned for a county-owned parking lot on South Calhoun Street across from the jail."


"Allen Superior Judge John Surbeck and Community Corrections Executive Director Sheila Hudson said the need to house returning inmates will not go away. About 75 percent of inmates with no permanent address are back behind bars within a year, according to county statistics."


"Geoff Paddock, executive director of Headwaters Park, understands the need to house returning prisoners. But he doesn’t think such a facility should be located just a couple of blocks from a downtown park that attracts nearly 600,000 visitors per year – many of them children.

“I let the sheriff know I was opposed to it,” Paddock said. “Some people are already a little skittish with the park being next to the jail. It just wouldn’t send a good signal about security. We want to be good stewards of the area.”"