NewsPublic AffairsGovernment / March 25, 2014

Public Raises Concerns on Proposed Justice Complex

Sam Klemet
Public Raises Concerns on Proposed Justice Complex

Indianapolis residents are weighing in on a proposed new Marion County Criminal Justice Complex.

City leaders listened to feedback during a town hall, Monday.

The former General Motors Stamping Plant on the city’s southwest side is considered the preferred place for the complex.

Marion County Sheriff John Layton says he is open to other locations, but believes wherever it is built, the center will mean a better justice system and safer city.

"This justice center isn't just about what's best for the Marion County Sheriff or the Marion County Sheriff's Office, it's about what's best for the citizens of Marion County and how we can create a more efficient and safer justice system right here in our great county," he said.  

Bennett Fuson lives near the stamping plant and says he would consider moving if the complex is located there.  He thinks it will deter other businesses from setting up in the area and hinder the community’s growth.

"It would make more sense to locate the new justice center near existing correctional facilities and leave one of the most desired development sites in the city open to proposals that would have a significantly more positive impact on our surrounding neighborhood," said Fuson.

The city says the economic impact will come from having the courts system as part of the complex.

The center will house adult detention, inmate processing, the prosecutor, public defender, clerk, probation and community corrections.

But Jeremy Lux, who lives near the plant, is concerned with what it will mean for safety of his children and value of his property.

"I've read online about prisons ‒ about everything ‒ it has not brought any kind of economical growth to the community itself," he said.  "The only kind of growth that I've seen it bring was coffee shops, bail bondsmen, things like that. Things that this neighborhood is not equipped for or trained for."

Other public hearings are scheduled on the justice complex.

The city says the project can be done without tax increases and hopes to start construction in 2015.

 

 

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