County Attorney Jim Clevenger updated the County Commissioners last week on the ACLU case against the county pertaining to jail overcrowding.
Clevenger said he still hasn’t been able to convince the ACLU lawyers to dismiss the case against the county for the injunctive relief. He said, “Event thought the jail’s inmate population has been well below capacity since March of 2020 and our current average population is a little over 140 inmates, the ACLU lawyers will agree to a dismissal only if there is a monthly reporting of inmates through July 2022 and the in the event our inmate population exceeds 200 for multiple days, that the sheriff utilize the housing agreements we have with either Fulton or Elkhart County to reduce that population to approximately 200.” Clevenger continued, “Our negotiations and efforts continue.”
Commissioner Stan Klotz said, “This has been hanging over our judiciary’s head for a long time. They’ve done everything they can, a fantastic job.”
Clevenger said the population has been as low as 137 at one time and he agreed with Klotz’s comment. The county attorney said, “It’s just injunctive relief. In other words, they wanted us to stop the overcrowding and we haven’t been in the situation for months.”
Klotz suggested taking the “bull by the horn” to a federal judge and tell him we’ve fixed the issue and stop the nonsense, stop the madness, and ask for the case to be dismissed. He said, “Give them a chance to dismiss and if they don’t take them to court.”
Clevenger said he thinks as the winter goes on, they will eventually throw in the towel.