Construction began Wednesday on an $11.5 million expansion of the Dearborn County Jail, a project ten years in the making.
County leaders took part in the official groundbreaking ceremony the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center.
Once complete, the expansion will nearly double the number of beds at the jail to 424, add a jail chemical addition program and renovations to the Dearborn County Sheriff's Department.
County officials say the project is crucial because overcrowding can be dangerous for jail workers and inmates.
"The bigger issue really is you can't classify them appropriately. You've got non-violent offenders with violent offenders, and if I'm non-violent, I'll probably become violent because I'm around the wrong kind of people," said Dearborn County Administrator Terri Randall. "This allows us to classify, segregate, use good behavior modification to hopefully get people back into society and on the right path in their lives."
The expansion project is expected to be completed by summer 2014.