Home - Future of the Allen County Jail

On January 2, 2020, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of all persons currently confined, or who would in the future be confined, in the Allen County Jail. On March 31, 2022, a Federal judge in the United States District Court - Northern District of Indiana - Fort Wayne Division issued an Opinion & Order concerning the lawsuit after several rounds of hearings and attempts at mediation. That document can be read here. The judge ordered Allen County to

a) in the short-term address current conditions at the Allen County Jail and

b) in the long-term find a permanent solution to address conditions at the Allen County Jail. According to the Judge's Opinion & Order, the complaints in the lawsuit concerning conditions in the Allen County Jail are largely attributable to the population of inmates in the jail and staffing levels of employees working in the jail.

Allen County has been ordered by the Federal court to address conditions in the Jail. Leaders in Allen County must now determine the best course forward for accomplishing that. This website will be in the repository for all public information that can be shared on the process to determine how to address the long-term condition issues of the Allen County Jail contained in the lawsuit. The size, scope, and shape of the solution has not been determined, but Allen County has been ordered to make progress on finding a long-term solution and report its progress back to the lawsuit plaintiffs and the Federal court.

Allen County Board of Commissioners' Statement on County Council Vote

Allen County, Indiana -- The Allen County Board of Commissioners issued a joint statement following the County Council Meeting on July 20, 2023:

Today Allen County Council voted "no" to Ordinance 2023-07-20-06, which would have modified rates for the Local Income Tax (LIT). We are extremely disappointed in Council's decision. By turning down the ordinance, the county will not collect any Correctional or Rehabilitation Facilities LIT. Without that additional revenue, we cannot move forward with the construction of a new Allen County Jail.

While the county may have the resources to fix some of the crumbling infrastructure within the current jail, it does not have the ability to address long-term issues that plague the building. Allen County is the subject of a judicial order demanding it correct unconstitutional conditions at the jail, the most heinous of which is chronic overcrowding. There has not been a year since it was built in 1981 that it met the 80% capacity rating considered the standard best practice in correctional facilities.

There is a saying that "today's dollars are cheaper than tomorrow's." By putting off the decision to fund a new jail at this moment in time, County Council will ultimately spend more taxpayer dollars. We will continue to pursue long-term solutions to the civil rights issues of inmates as well as unsafe conditions for staff. It is required by the lawsuit, and it is the right thing to do for our community.