A Quick Overview of Indiana’s Prison System
The state of Indiana has 18 adult correctional facilities, consisting of minimum, medium, and maximum security levels. The Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC), which operates all state prisons, assigns offenders to a particular facility based on the nature of the offense, the offender’s criminal record, considerations of public and staff safety, the safety of the offender, and the medical, educational and personal needs of the offender.
Minimum Security Prison
Indiana has four minimum security prisons, Madison Correctional Facility, South Bend Community Re-Entry Center, Chain O’Lakes Correctional Facility, and Edinburgh Correctional Facility. These facilities mainly house non-violent offenders, such as people with low-level drug offenses or white-collar crimes. These facilities are the least restrictive, providing dormitory-style living, and significant freedom of movement on the grounds. Some offenders may even have permission to leave the grounds during the day to work. Minimum security prisons offer numerous programs designed to help offenders re-enter society, including work release programs, employment readiness class, Alcohol Anonymous, Substance Abuse, bible study, or parenting classes.
Medium Security Prison
Indiana has nine medium security prisons, the largest of which are Westville Correctional Facility (3,200 beds) and New Castle Correctional Facility (3,100 beds) which is privately run. In Indiana, medium security facilities have either Level 2 or Level 3 security, both of which have armed guards. Some medium security facilities have dormitory-style house while others have a mix of dorms and cells. Inmates have less freedom of movement than in minimum security prison, and they are usually locked in their rooms or cells at night. Most prisoners work for the state, private sector companies, or the Indiana Department of Transportation. Medium security facilities offer a range of rehabilitation programs, including Reintegration in Society through Education (RISE), which allows offenders to attain their GED, learn a vocation, or improve their literacy.
Maximum Security Prison
The rest of Indiana’s prisons are maximum security, including two for women. Indiana State Prison (2,300 beds) and Pendleton Correctional Facility (1,800 beds) are two of the oldest and largest. These facilities typically house people convicted of extremely violent crimes and death row offenders. In maximum security prison, inmate movement is severely restricted, and they are under near-constant surveillance. As in medium security prisons, many prisoners work for the state or private companies. Maximum security prisons also offer a range of rehabilitation programs and classes, such as Parenting on the Inside, literacy programs, addiction recovery services, and courses dedicated to purposeful living, and spiritual and character development.