• Bill Raines

Over 1,600 Inmates Processed Through Lawrence County Security Center in 2021

LAWRENCE COUNTY - (March 16, 2022) - The Lawrence County Sheriff Mike Branham released the annual jail report to the Lawrence County Commissioners on Tuesday.


Lawrence County Sheriff Mike Branham



The Lawrence County Security Center opened in July 1990 with a capacity of 88 inmates. The security center was double bunked in 1992, which increased the capacity to 168.


The indoor recreation room was converted to dorm housing in 2016 to help increase capacity to 180 inmates.


According to the report a total of 1,600 inmates were processed into the Lawrence County Security Center from January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021, which was an average of 4.4 booking per day. A total of 1,581 inmates were released during this same period.


In comparison there were 1,580 inmates processed which averaged 4.3 bookings per day. A total of 1,618 inmates released through the Lawrence County Security Center from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021.


The reduction in arrests and average daily population from 2019 to 2021 is attributed to COVID 19 pandemic in efforts made by the Lawrence County Courts, Prosecutor's office, and Public Defenders office to reduce the population of the Lawrence County Security Center of non-violent offenders, as well as efforts by all Lawrence County's police agencies.


(Lawrence County Security Center Located at 1420 I Street in Bedford, Indiana)


The police agencies issued citations, when possible, rather than bringing low level offenders into the jail.


According to the report there were two in custody deaths in Lawrence County Jail in 2021, and there were no escape attempts in 2021. There were no juveniles held in the Lawrence Security Center in 2021.



The Lawrence County Security Center submitted claims in the amount of $109,144.50 for holding Indiana Department of Corrections offenders and parole violations during 2021.


The lump sum payment for sentenced Level-6 Felons for 2021 was $223, 839.96. The Lawrence County Security Center held an average of 10 Department of Correction inmates per day in 2021.


In comparison claims to the Indiana Department of Correction of $83,775.50 for holding Department of Corrections Inmates and Parole holds for 2020. The Department of Correction stopped paying per diem for Level-6 felons in July 2019. The Department of Corrections now pay counties an annual lump sum payment.


Top Ten Reasons People Booked into Lawrence County Security Center 2021


1. Meth Cases total 371


  • Possession - 360

  • Dealing - 60

2. Battery total 255

  • Domestic - 137

  • Other Battery - 118

3. Operating While Intoxicated - 251


4. Failure to Appear - 226


5. Possession of Paraphernalia - 212


6. Petition to Revoke - 177


7. Marijuana Total - 154

  • Possession -146

  • Dealing - 8

8. Theft - 137


9. Unlawful Possession of Syringe - 125


10. Resisting law enforcement - 121


PROGRAMING AND SERVICES LAWRENCE COUNTY SECURITY CENTER


On site programming was suspended in March 2020 due to general restrictions that was implemented due to the COVID -19 pandemic. There also were unwillingness for volunteers to come to the Lawrence County Security Center for programming.


The Lawrence Security Center offers both GED classes, and literacy classes to the inmates. These programs are generally offered once a week. The GED classes provided by Vincennes University, at no additional cost to the inmate.


There are several religious services available at the Lawrence County Security Center which are offered several times through the week, which volunteers conduct and oversee these services.


Centerstone offers POPS program to the incarcerated fathers.


In November 2021 Purdue Universtity, and Lawrence County Economic Growth Council teamed up with the Lawrence County Security Center for Next Level Jobs Program.


(Recent Work Force Ready Class was held at the North Lawrence Career Center)


The 10- Day Work Force Ready class teaches the fundmentals of manufacturing, and upon completion provides an OSHA 10 certificate to help offenders find employment after incarceration. To date there have been 42 participants in this program which includes 28 males and 14 females from November 2021 to February 2022. This program is INTraining and WORKIndiana approved.


The Lawrence County Security Center has and "inmate worker" program, utilizing low risk inmates for various jobs inside the Security Center, including working in the kitchen perparing meals, laundry and general cleaning. There are 9 inmates who work a combined total of 72 hours a week, every day. If the Security Center staff had to be utilized for these tasks, the cost to Lawrence County taxpayers would be an additional $1,204 per day or $439,460 a based on a starting Jail Officer pay.







LAWRENCE COUNTY SECURITY CENTER CHALLENGES AND INFORMATION


The Lawrence County Security Center contracts with Advanced Correctional Healthcare for physician and October 2021, a full-time nurse and two part time Nurses who are registered nurses oversee the medical needs of the inmates.


The physician comes to the security center weekly and is on-call 24 hours a day. There is also a licensed clinical social worker through Advanced Correctional Healthcare, which visits the Security Center weekly to see the mental health needs of the inmates.


The Lawrence County Security Center has been in continuous operation for 32 years. There are several issues that are now facing the security center.




  • Deterioration of the concrete ramp leading to the upper-level public entrance to the building

  • Parts for doors within Security Center are becoming difficult to find motors and expensive

  • Current analog camera system is outdated and difficult to find replacement components.

  • In late April 2020 the Elevator broke down. The elevator is used every day for the last 30 years and parts are being more difficult to find. The county completely replaced the elevator control panel and associated equipment.

  • January 2022 the clothes dryer for inmate laundry was replaced at a cost $5338

A jail feasibility study was conducted in July 2021 by RQAW Architecture. The study recommended the replacement of the facility.


In January 2022, a jail exploratory committee which includes Lawrence County Sheriff, Jail, Superior Court, Prosecutors, Public Defenders, Commissioners, County Council, Auditors office, and legal counsel.


Proud sponsor of the Lawrence County Zephyr



This committee will examine the cost, needs, financing and acquire a location suitable for a new Justice Campus with future expansion capabilities.


In the report it is noted the Security Center is understaffed by 6 officers in a analysis conducted by Bill Wilson.

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