Marion County officials have broken ground on the first phase of a massive, multi-institutional criminal justice center. The project, which will stand on the site of a former Citizens Energy coke plant, will not only include jail facilities, but also space for courts, the city-county sheriff’s office and a new Assessment and Intervention Center. The 140-acre location on the city’s southeast side was announced in January. The initial phase is slated to cost $55 million and price of the full campus could exceed $570 million.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Sheriff John Layton said the benefits will be felt beyond Indianapolis. "We have a lot of reaching into the outlying counties, as far as the criminal justice system goes," Layton said, "not only the inmates from different counties, but also the police officers from different counties working together — task forces and things." He adds the center will bring everyone together "to take care of business in the justice world."
Layton says one of the most exciting features of the new campus will be the Assessment and Intervention Center, which will allow those brought in with substance abuse issues to be separated and evaluated instead of "warehousing" them with the rest of the jail population. He says the center could also serve patients after they leave and cut down on jail time recidivism by treating the source of problems that may not require jail time anyway.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Sheriff John Layton said the benefits will be felt beyond Indianapolis.