News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 19, 2013

Jail overcrowding cited as grounds for ACLU lawsuit

Staff Report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Citing concerns about jail overcrowding and unhealthy conditions, the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of inmates against the Vigo County Sheriff and Commissioners.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in Vigo Superior Court 1.

Both Sheriff Greg Ewing and County Commissioner Mike Ciolli told the Tribune-Star that they are reviewing the lawsuit and should have a comment later today.

In 2002, the Sheriff and Commissioners entered into an agreement to settle a federal class action lawsuit that had claimed overcrowded conditions in the jail violated the U.S. Constitution’s protections against cruel and unusual punishments. As part of the settlement, an annex to the jail was built and a formal settlement agreement was reached to limit the jail’s population to 268 people.

An October 2012 Jail Inspection Report by the Indiana Department of Correction notes that the jail population totaled 293 and described it as “over populated.”

An updated article will appear in Tuesday’s issue of the Tribune-Star.