Lake County jail is getting cleaner and safer

2012-10-15T18:00:00Z 2012-10-16T07:50:02Z Lake County jail is getting cleaner and saferBy Bill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com
October 15, 2012 6:00 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said Monday the latest inspection of the jail by federal authorities brings the county closer to full compliance.

"I'm very happy to report all 99 provisions are out of noncompliance. We got glowing grades on sanitation, food service, fire safety," he said.

That is an improvement on the issues Lake County has to correct as part of a 2010 settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division governing an upgrade of the jail's previously substandard health care and sanitary conditions for inmates under prior administrations.

"We are almost there. I have my sights set on getting full compliance by next year," Buncich said.

He said recent improvements include the anticipated hiring of 18 more corrections officers, in addition to 12 hired earlier this year to more efficiently move inmates to and from health care services.

The county also is installing video equipment to let inmates visit with family and friends and confer with court officials without inmates having to be moved to less secure locations by corrections officers.

He said the mental health ward is being transferred to another pod within the jail.

"It will be a more secure and larger area where they can have better counseling and care," Buncich said.

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