Clark County Jail inmates move into new quarters

Overcrowding spurs move of female inmates.

The number of women incarcerated in the Clark County Jail has increased by 400 percent from the 12 it estimate it would hold when the jail opened in 1983, Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly said.

“It’s the fastest growing population right now coming into the Clark County Jail,” Kelly said.

He said the female population continues to grow and fluctuates between 50 to 60 women on a daily basis.

“Upstairs we (were) crowded with 30 or more women up there — it was crowded, it was miserable,” said Sarah Adkins of Springfield, who has been incarcerated in the jail for five months, both in the main jail and in the modules.

The modular units housed below the jail on North Fountain Avenue were first opened in 2002 during a remodeling process of the jail. Once Kelly and other jail officials realized the overcrowding of women that was taking place in the main jail, they decided to make the modular units a home for female inmates in 2013.

The units consist of six metal trailers. Five of the trailers house the women, equipped with bunks, desks and even cable TVs. The sixth trailer is a restroom with shower stalls, sinks and toilets.

They are the same structures the military has used to house soldiers fighting overseas, Kelly said.

The Clark County Combined Health District did an inspection of the modules on June 11 and found some mold in a sleeping trailer and the bathrooms, according to the inspection report.

“It is the inmates’ responsibility to clean and maintain their areas. I advised the deputy to have girls clean the area better,” the inspection says.

The modules were used throughout the year in 2013. Because the women have to go outside to use the restrooms and get their food, they were moved back into the main jail during the extreme cold of winter.

Now that the women are back downstairs, the plan is to keep them there throughout the summer and fall and into the winter if frigid conditions such as last year’s don’t return, Kelly said.

The female inmates said they like their new accommodations.

“Remember we are incarcerated, so I mean the mattress could be a little thicker, but this is a jail, we have to go with what we’re dosed out,” said Stacy Hido, an inmate who has also been in both the main and the modular jails.

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