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Lawrence County Female Inmate Count Reaches 42
Updated July 14, 2015 4:33 PM
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(BEDFORD) - Lawrence County Sheriff Mike Branham told the Lawrence County Commissioners Tuesday morning that a record number of female inmates are being housed in the jail.

"We have changed things around, moved people and modified areas to house the 42 female prisoners," Branham says.

Branham is working on plans now to renovate a recreation area in the jail to house 12 more female inmates.

"That will allow us to hold up to 56 female inmates and keep them all on the same level," he added. "It will help for a while, but I don't know for how long."

Branham says the money to make the renovations is in the budget.

"We will have to move some money around," he says. "I will have to purchase bunks, tables, a television and construct a shower room and bathroom facility."

Branham says the increase in the women's population is due to increased drug activity.

"These women have committed some serious crimes," he says. "Many have been bonded out and then re-offended and now don't have a bond. They were non-compliant. They violated the terms of their house arrest or had dirty urine screens or committed another criminal offense while out on probation. Now we must hold them for another 30, 60 up to 90 days or longer until their cases can be resolved."

In other business:

Highway crews continue to pave county roads.

"We are behind schedule due to weather conditions," says Highway Superintendent David Holmes. "We were hoping to get Tunnelton Road done before school starts but I don't think that will happen, but we will work around the bus schedules."

Holmes did report that there were a few trees and limbs down due to the storms but no serious damage.


Work on Bridge 89, on Guthrie Road over Salt Creek, continues.

"We are a little behind schedule due to the rain," Holmes added. "But we are still shooting to have it open by the time school starts."


Sheriff Branham reported that there were 135 prisoners in jail, of those 3 were Department of Correction hold and 42 were women.

The state jail inspector was at the jail Tuesday morning.


Lawrence County Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer told the commissioners that Lawrence County has been put on standby to assist with the flooding conditions in Brown County.

"They have a mess over there," she added. "They were hit hard."

Sand bags are available for Lawrence County residents if they need them.

The National Weather Service predicts White River will crest at Rivervale on Friday.

"It is to be 4 feet higher than anytime this spring," Commissioner Bill Spreen says.

Commissioner Dave Flinn says he will probably lose about 25 percent of his corn crop because of flooding issues.


The County Service Director at Centerstone presented the commissioners with their annual report. In 2014 the facility provided service to 1,518 consumers and of those 82 percent were adults.

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