November 19, 2018

City-County Council Approves Plan For New Jail Project

The city will enter a lease to finance the jail, which will include a mental health facility called the Assessment and Intervention Center Project. - Drew Daudelin/WFYI

The city will enter a lease to finance the jail, which will include a mental health facility called the Assessment and Intervention Center Project.

Drew Daudelin/WFYI

Members of the Indianapolis City-County Council Monday night approved plans for the city’s large-scale jail project.

The city will enter a lease to finance the jail, which will include a mental health facility called the Assessment and Intervention Center Project.

Rena Allen is a community worker who has been involved with the jail project for years, since a far different version failed under the previous mayor’s administration.

Allen says she’s typically against new jails. But she says building a space for rehabilitation is a step in the right direction.

"It took a lot of...I don’t even want to say leg work, I wanna say trench work. It took a lot of trench work," Allen says. "Any time you can change some Republicans minds, that’s how you know you’re moving in the right direction."

The whole project, which city officials refer to as a community justice campus, is part of a push for criminal justice reform from Mayor Joe Hogsett’s administration.

It’s also being pitched as a potential stimulant for economic development in the southeast side’s Twin-Aire neighborhood, which experienced sharp decline in recent decades.

The proposal passed with a vote of 24 – 1.

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