Governor Eric J Holcomb and Indiana Department of Corrections break ground on a new correctional facility

NOW: Governor Eric J Holcomb and Indiana Department of Corrections break ground on a new correctional facility

WESTVILLE, Ind - Thursday, Governor Eric J Holcomb and the Indiana Department of Corrections broke ground on a new 1.4 million square foot correctional facility in Westville, Indiana.

This comes as the ever-growing need for updated correctional facilities here in Indiana and officials here say the new facility will have many security upgrades, education services, and will address recidivism.

This facility consolidates Westville Correctional and the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City.

The goal is to combine staff, retaining 900 jobs, with the addition of more than 1,500 high-skilled construction jobs over the next three years.

it's a 1.2-billion-dollar project, first announced by the governor in 2021, and reintroduced this year as part of his 2023 next-level agenda.

The facility itself will house up to 4200 men and will also include a specialized unit with 240 beds specifically for mental health treatment.

Christina Reagle, who serves as the commissioner for the Indiana Department of Corrections, explains that safety is one of the reasons this merger is so important.

“It's not a hardened facility, so there's drywall where incarcerated individuals might have access to areas where we wouldn’t traditionally want them to have access to, the sight lines are very difficult as I said it was built as a mental health hospital, so an officer who is walking down doing their rounds has to peak in to different rooms where individuals are, they aren't able to see everything at once,” said  Reagle

The new facility is expected to be complete in 2027.

Inmates from both facilities will either be transferred here, or to another IDOC facility.

Officials here say the new correctional facility will have a goal of trying to return incarcerated individuals back to society as functioning citizens.

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