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Female Population At Lawrence County Jail Steady At 50
Updated September 6, 2017 1:41 PM
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(BEDFORD) - The population at the Lawrence County Jail was at 166 Tuesday morning. Of those 50 were females, 20 Level 6 felons and 4 Department of Correction holds.

According to County Attorney David Smith the female population at the jail makes up 30.1 percent of the total jail population.

"Most of our female population is jailed because they violated the terms of their probation," says Sheriff Mike Branham. "They were arrested for petition to modify, petition to revoke probation or failure to appear warrants or drug court violations. The majority of their original charges stem from drug activity."

The jail can house 50 females reasonably, but when that number increases the females are bedded down on plastic beds in the day room.

"It is not an ideal situation," says Sheriff Branham. "We have seen that number [around] 49 to 50 consistently for the last couple of months."

The jail was designed to only house 12 female prisoners with a total of 88 inmates.

"We have made some changes over the years to compensate for the increased population," Sheriff Branham added. "The lower level is the only place where we can house females because the upper levels don't allow them the needed privacy because of the glass windows on the other floors. If the number increases we could be facing a problem."

The sheriff updated the commissioners on Tuesday morning on improvements begin made at the jail which include painting, replacing lighting and improvements to the bathrooms.

Two of the needed improvements were major suggestions during the recent jail inspection - painting and lighting.

Installation of the lighting has begun and should be completed in a couple of weeks.

"It has made a major difference," Sheriff Branham says. "It is much much brighter."

Painting will begin in the cell blocks on Sept. 18th.

"If the jail population increases to 160 it will be challenging moving inmates around while the cell blocks are being painted," Sheriff Branham added. "But we will make it work."

Repairs will be coming soon to the restroom facilities at the jail. The bathrooms date back to 1989 and does not meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Repairs will be paid for with funds from the building repair budget.

Sheriff Branham has picked out materials and is waiting for delivery to begin work.

In other business

Lawrence County Highway Superintendent David Holmes says crews are busy finishing up paving county roads.

"Today crews were on Sherwood Road," Holmes added. "They will do Rueter Lane on Wednesday, McFadden Road on Thursday and North Pike Road on Friday, if the weather cooperates."

Crews are also completing chip and sealing in District 2.

Plans are moving forward on Bridge 67 in Lawrenceport. Construction will begin in January with a completion date in April.

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The commissioners approved an ordinance to vacate 10 feet of Depot Street in Fort Ritner to the property owner. There were no objections from the adjoining landowner.



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