Jail History

History of the LaPorte County Jail

The LaPorte County Sheriff's Department was established in 1832 under the direction of its first Sheriff, Benjamin McCarty. During his term, the first jail was contracted to be built in 1833 for $460. It was a log building measuring 22' x 16' and was located on what is now the courthouse plaza.
The succeeding jail was a plank building built in 1841 or 1842 in the same location. In 1857, the next jail, a brick structure, was erected on State Street next to Shafer's Laundry. It was razed to make way for a heating and lighting plant. It had been vacant for seven years due to construction of the fourth jail in 1907.
The jail was built of Bedford stone in approximately the same location where the Foster and DeGarmo livery barn stood.
In 1977, an eight million dollar modern facility, the LaPorte County Annex and Security Complex, was completed. Along with several other county agencies, it was the new location for the LaPorte County Jail and Sheriff's Department.
On January 18th, 2002, the construction of a new five story addition to the Security Complex began. The project allowed expansion from a 135 bed jail to 350 beds. The building site is in the location of the old Schafer's Laundry building, which was razed to make way for the expansion.
During its 175+ year history, great progress has been made in the fields of corrections and law enforcement in LaPorte County.

LaPorte County Jail 1907-1977

LaPorte County Jail from 1907-1977

Jail 1975

LaPorte County Jail, 1975. New structure being built in background.

Jail demolished, 1977

The fourth LaPorte County Jail built is demolished in 1977,

New Jail, 1977

LaPorte County Security Complex and 135 bed jail, 1977.

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