Mayor Joe Hogsett was joined by Marion County Sheriff John Layton, members of the City-County Council, Citizens Energy Group CEO Jeff Harrison and neighborhood leaders to break ground on the site of the future Community Justice Campus. Located on the site of the former Citizens Energy Coke Plant in the Twin Aire neighborhood, the campus will be home to a jail, courthouse, sheriff’s office, and an Assessment and Intervention Center.
The Assessment and Intervention Center, a cornerstone of Mayor Hogsett’s criminal justice reform efforts, will connect those suffering from mental illness and addiction with treatment and social services and keep those who don’t belong in jail, out. The center is being developed in collaboration with Health and Hospital Corporation using national best practices, community-level data collected during the pilot of the Mobile Crisis Assistance Teams, and an assessment of community-based service provider capacity currently being conducted by the IU Public Policy Institute.
“This is a significant moment for the city of Indianapolis, as the seeds of our holistic criminal justice reform have been planted at one location, in one neighborhood, and will be grown by a community working together as one city. As our city celebrates today’s groundbreaking, we look forward to the brighter future that will come with an overhauled criminal justice system that prioritizes people over prisoners and the long-awaited revitalization of our southeast side,” Hogsett said.
The groundbreaking commemorated the acquisition of 140 acres of land from Citizens Energy Group and kicked off the first phase of development that will include the construction of the building pads and utility corridors for the jail and courthouse. The initial funding for the first phase of construction as well as the completion of the land acquisition were passed with unanimous votes by the City-County Council.
On Dec. 12, 2016, Mayor Hogsett convened community leaders at Old City Hall to outline the specific plan the Administration would pursue in reforming the entire Marion County criminal justice system. The plan included the commissioning of a task force, which conducted a year-long study on Indianapolis’ criminal justice system in an effort to formulate recommendations for holistic reform. The task force’s recommendations included the construction of a new community justice campus to replace the existing center in downtown Indianapolis; in January of 2017, Mayor Hogsett announced the future home of the campus would be in the Twin Aire neighborhood, southeast of downtown where the former Citizens Energy Coke Plant once stood.
In addition to the Community Justice Campus, the remediated 140-acre site will feature significant public and private investment, further spurring the transformation of the southeast side.
Design renderings of the future Community Justice Campus can be found here.