The Marion County Jail (MCJ) is a 151,000 square foot structure currently housing 400 inmates. The facility is a "direct supervision" jail where deputies are assigned inside the inmate housing units. This management philosophy allows deputies to be proactive in the day to day operations of the jail.
Part of the direct supervision management philosophy is based on positive inmate behavior that allows certain inmates expanded (limited) privileges based on behavior. Examples of privileges include, inmate commissary, less restrictive living environments, greater out of cell time and/or being allowed to participate in programs and work projects. Programs including AA, Prison Fellowship and church-affiliated programs are only a few of the many programs inmates may be involved in. Inmate work programs are designed to reduce costs associated with operating the facility. Inmates may work in the kitchen, do laundry and perform janitorial services throughout the facility.
MCJ books approximately 16,000 people per year. In addition to those being booked, the facility houses inmates awaiting trial, inmates sentenced for one year or less, inmates being held for federal authorities and inmates sentenced to a state correctional facility/penitentiary. The facility also operates as a hub for prisoner exchange. Other jails throughout the state bring prisoners to Marion County to be transported/transferred to other facilities throughout the state and neighboring states. This system keeps transportation costs down and is reflected in a direct savings to the county budget.
More than 100 citizen volunteers provide an array of services at little or no cost to taxpayers that are designed to assist inmates with problems or reintroduce them back into society. The facility has classes on A/A, Drug & Alcohol education, a GED Program and religious programs.