New Castle residents upset by trafficking, incomplete fence at jail across street

Inmates punch holes in jail wall to receive goods

NEW CASTLE, Ind. - New Castle residents are voicing concerns about jail trafficking happening right before their eyes.

One resident said he's even chased people from his yard who were trying to smuggle drugs inside the jail.

Another resident, who lives 150 feet from the jail, said as soon as you chase the smugglers away, more return.

Don, who didn't want to go on camera, said the inmates punch holes through the back of the jail then phones, drugs and tobacco are smuggled in by people driving and walking up and down the street.

"This jail is so old that mortar, from the moisture and time, it's crumbling, it's falling apart," Don said.

Holes patched with spray foam can be seen at the back of the Henry County Jail.

"There was a lady who came up here with her kid who was probably 8 to 10 years old, and I chased them down to their car and told police where they were when they got here," Don said.

Residents RTV6 talked to said they're upset because the fence separating them from the jail isn't complete, and there are no security cameras.

There are no plans for cameras, and the fence won't be done until they get the razor wire they need from the Department of Corrections.

Sheriff Butch Baker said they are trying to crack down in the meantime.

"We've increased our manpower," Baker said. "We're doing outside security checks now… We're trying to do our best to keep it down. One thing we've talked about, thought about doing, that's purchasing sheets of steel and lining the inside of the outside walls."

For Don and other residents, the jail trafficking has rattled their nerves and their peace of mind.

"There are some suspicious people that are out here in the middle of the night," said resident Tammy Maye. "It's kind of scary. So, we all just take turns sleeping at the house and kind of looking around cause you never know what's going on around here." 

Baker said the fence and razor wire should be up in 30 days, but there's no word yet and when the sheets of steel might go up. 

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