VALPARAISO | Porter County Sheriff David Lain gave the approval a month ago for the emergency purchase of 13 industrial-sized fans to help relieve uncomfortably high temperatures at the Porter County Jail.
The heat has been a problem since last year and continues in various areas of the building, including the inmate living quarters where temperatures have reached the upper 80s.
The conditions improved when a new cooling unit was installed a couple of weeks ago, but Lain told the Porter County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday the fans are still needed and in use.
"We're not talking about comfort per se," he said. "We're talking about inmate control issues. As the temperature in the pod rises, so does the aggression level."
Lain said the high temperatures caused a build up of condensation, which resulted in a guard slipping and needing stitches.
The commissioners agreed in April to fund $377,000 in heating and air conditioning improvements at the jail, administration center and courthouse.
Lain said the addition of the air conditioner helped relieve the high temperatures at the jail. But he said more needs to be done and the commissioners have that power.
"We're just the occupants of the building," he said.