Bartholomew County Jail getting new safety measures, additional staff

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COLUMBUS, Ind. - After a pair of incidents earlier this year by inmates in their cells, leaders at the Bartholomew County Jail have gotten approved for additional measures to prevent future problems.

Over Labor Day Weekend, two inmates kicked out their cell doors and one of them used a rod to attack workers at the jail. Click here to read more.

“It was basically two inmates, two separate cells, I don’t know if I would consider it a riot, but they damaged the doors and injured officers," said jail commander, Major Joe Martoccia. “The bottom of the doors are mesh, and they were able to kick the door and the mesh part out and use the bars to injure the officers."

In the last two months, Martoccia and other staff have examined the situation and looked at how to prevent it from happening again. The jail is getting more than $2,200 to make improvements.

"We’ve come up with a metal bar across there so they’re aren’t able to kick that mesh out in the future," said Martoccia.

The commander isn't sure when the bars will be installed, but said they had been ordered.

The jail will also see additional staffing come 2018.

"Manpower is always an issue and fortunately the council has approved us to obtain five new officers come January," said Martoccia. "That will help out to where we can have officers in the block more often to monitor these situations before they actually happen.”

Martoccia said he believed the additions would allow for one additional guard in the jail during each shift.

The jail will also have two additional nurses starting next year.