Number of Female Inmates Increasing at County Jail

(BEDFORD) – Sheriff Mike Branham presented the Lawrence County Commissioners with copies of the second Quarter report of 2019.

Sheriff Mike Branham

For the second quarter, the total number of prisoners housed in the Lawrence County Jail was 508, that number was up by 42 from last quarter.

Of those 173 were females, up by 42.

Of the inmates booked into the jail, 316 were for felony offenses. Of those 112 were females, up by 25; 204 were males, down by 17; 150 were on drug and alcohol-related charges up by 38; 83 were for technical violations like warrants for petition to revoke, failure to appear and other charges.

The number arrested on misdemeanor charges were 144, up by 16. Of those 101 were males, up by 11; 43 women, up by 5; 53 for drug or alcohol charges, up by 4 and 31 for technical violations, down by 2.

Those arrested on civil offenses were 13, down by 6. 11 were male, up by four and 2 were females, up by 2.

Those arrested on other charges like out of county warrants were 35, down by 2. Of those 19 were males, up by 2 and 16 females, up by 10.

Tuesday morning there were 180 inmates in the jail, of those 139 were males, 41 females, 10 Level 6 offenders and four Department of Correction holds.

“The last couple of weeks we are averaging 179 to 182 a day,” says Sheriff Branham.

In 2019 the average daily population had hovered at 161, with the average length of stay around 28.8 days. In 2018 the average daily population was 177 with the average length of stay around 34.5 days.

“The June numbers drove up the second quarter average with an average daily population of 173 and the length of state at 30 days,” Sheriff Branham noted in the report.

In other business, the commissioner signed a contract with Advance Health Care to provide health care to inmates at the jail.

Sewer grinder installation at jail underway

The sewer grinder project has begun. T&G Construction Inc. of Bedford had the lowest bid to install sewer grinders at the jail. Crews have dug a pit and ordered a vault and the project is moving forward. The grinders are needed because inmates have been flushing wrappers from items purchased from commissary, clothing, and other things down the toilets at the jail thus clogging the city’s sewer lines.

Sheriff Mike Branham says the blockage has occurred several times this year. Many times blockage has been found blocks away from the jail, causing lines to back up in area businesses and homes.

Mid-State Corridor Project

Sheriff Branham will attend a meeting Wednesday for work beginning on the Mid-States Corridor Project. It examines the concept of an improved highway connection in southwest Indiana.

“They are looking at extending 261 to Interstate 69 from the Ohio River to Dubois County,” says Sheriff Branham. “This could come through Lawrence County. This is the best chance to have a long-term impact on transportation in Southern Indiana, and throughout the Midwest.”

The environmental impact study will examine the concept of constructing an improved highway connection, beginning at the Ohio River near Rockport, continuing through Spencer and Dubois counties, and extending north to connect to I-69. The cost of the study is $7 million — half coming from local businesses in the private sector, and the other half coming from local government agencies.

The Lochmueller Group of Evansville has been contracted to conduct the study, and Jason DuPont is managing the project.

That process will be overseen by the Federal Highway Administration. Lochmueller plans to publish the Tier 1 environmental impact statement in 2020, with a final record of the decision made by the FHA in mid-2021. That would allow the project to move forward into the Tier 2 phase, which is marked by preliminary design and refinement.