Beyond the Badge: What it takes to run the Kosciusko County Jail

This week on Beyond the Badge, Michiana gets an inside look behind the bars of the Kosciusko County Jail and what it takes to run the place. It’s not a job just anybody can do and the work is never done.

“The responsibility that jail officers have, you know, it's one of the toughest jobs here at the sheriff's office,” Kosciusko County Sheriff Kyle Dukes said.”

“I think people think that we're just here to get everybody in trouble,” Kosciusko County Jail Officer Zach Lane said. “We are here to help people that need to be helped. It's more dangerous than people probably think.  We've had our lives threatened. We've had our families threatened. It's not the safest place to be at times, it can be hectic and stressful.”

Sheriff Dukes said it’s not a job just anybody can do.

“It takes a special person to be a jail officer,” he said.

“There's fights, we have to break up fights,” Kosciusko County Jail Sergeant Chad Marsh said. “We go back there to pass clean laundry, pick up dirty laundry. And when you have, you know, 25 or 30 guys, in a small block together, there's always something happening. So, we're back and forth, to deliver mail, to take care of the problems. It's, it's something different. I mean, I've been here 19 years. And there's still every week, there's ‘wow’ I’ve never seen this happen. There's just, and I think a lot of the general public have no idea of what goes on back here.”

“Some days are slow, some days are crazy,” Lane explained. “I mean, we do it all and we have to do it all.

“We are busy from the beginning of our shift till the end, we have to take care of all the inmates,” Marsh said. “I mean, our biggest job is to protect, you know, the safety and security of the jail, and everyone in here. So, I think the biggest misconception is they don't understand everything we do.”

“Talking about defensive tactics, talking about handcuffing, how do you talk to an inmate when he screams and yells and how do you get this situation under control without putting hands on? That's what we're here to do,” Sheriff Dukes explained.

“Because when you run back there, and you open the door, you don't know if it's going to be two people or 10 people or you don't know what you're getting, especially when it comes to the fights,” Marsh said. “But we've all had lots and lots of training.”

“Knowing your surroundings and, you know, when to call for help, when do I don't, but just talking your way out of it,” Sheriff Dukes explained. “That's what we're training these brave men and women to do because these situations are not favorable for us on when it comes to numbers.”

“We're kind of like the first responders,” Marsh said. “This is kind of like, our own little city. And we're jail officers. But this is, this is where we patrol.”

“We don't want to take people to jail,” Lane said. “We don't want to get people in trouble usually. We want to help our community and make it a little bit safer for everybody.”

Also, this week on Beyond the Badge, Michiana meets a group of men in the Kosciusko County Jail going through the Jail Chemical Addiction Program (JCAP).

“This program is built around hope, and how to take your past struggles and transform it into hope,” Inmate Bruce Yeazel said.

Hear from them about how JCAP has transformed their lives and given them a second chance on ABC57 NightTeam.

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