Madison Co. Jail gets more staff, air-conditioner upgrade

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 28:  The prison cell on Robben Island, off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa that was occupied by Nelson Mandela during his 18 years of imprisonment. Knowles is in South Africa for the "46664 - Give One Minute of Your Life to Aids" concert which will take place at Greenpoint Stadium on November 29th and will benefit the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the fight against AIDS in Africa. Artists performing will include Bono, Queen, Peter Gabriel, The Eurythmics, Beyonce, Youssou N'Dour, and many other international and African musicians. It will be one of the biggest rock events ever staged in Africa and will also be the most widely distributed media event in history with a potential audience of more than 2 billion people in 166 countries.  (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

ANDERSON, Ind. — A central Indiana county is hiring more jail staffers and repairing the jail’s faulty air-conditioning after the sheriff warned overcrowding and heat had turned the lockup into a “powder keg.”

The Madison County Jail in Anderson is so overcrowded 40 inmates sleep on its floor every night, while temperatures inside hover in the mid-80s.

The Madison County Council agreed Tuesday to allocate $81,000 to hire four part-time employees and approved transferring $80,000 to buy and install new air-conditioner compressors.

The Herald Bulletin reports Sheriff Scott Mellinger said the extra staffers were needed to bring the jail into line with the most recent state recommendations for staffing.

Mellinger says the overcrowding, heat and many inmates struggling with mental illness and addiction had turned his jail into “a powder keg.”

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