Starke County government offices will be closed for awhile today so employees can attend the grand opening ceremony for the new jail. The program gets under way at noon at the site east of Knox on State Road 8 and 550 East. The Starke County Courthouse, annex and highway garage will be closed from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The public is invited to the building dedication gala and memorial garden ceremony. Tours will be offered until at least 6 p.m. after the formal program concludes, and Sheriff Bill Dulin and his command staff will be on hand to answer questions. Food will also be served.
The new 146 bed facility will double the capacity of the existing jail. It will offer video visitation between inmates and their loved ones. County officials hope this will cut down on contraband that is smuggled into the facility. Other amenities include cells designed for ease of maintenance without disrupting inmates and state-of-the-art monitoring systems. A courtroom on-site will be set up for video arraignment to lessen the need to transport prisoners to the Starke County Courthouse for proceedings.
The new building will also house the county’s 911 center and administrative offices for the sheriff.
Prisoners will be moved from the existing jail on June 1st. That building will be remodeled to accommodate Starke County Community Corrections and the probation department.