The latest plan for the Logansport State Hospital campus calls for the Indiana Department of Correction to take control of three vacant buildings and construct another that would house about 200 juvenile offenders, according to a recent email from the hospital superintendent.
The plan came out of a recent meeting at the campus with “the Governor’s Chief of Staff and several agency leaders,” LSH Superintendent Robert Clover wrote in an email obtained by the Pharos-Tribune.
When asked about the plan Wednesday, Clover said the email was meant for staff members only. He declined to comment on the specifics.
Representatives for the Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility, Indiana Department of Correction and Indiana Family & Social Services Administration each said no definitive plans have been made.
“We have not made a final decision,” said Doug Garrison, DOC chief communications officer.
In Clover’s email, which includes a map outlining the affected buildings, he lists detailed points of the proposed plan. He notes: “This issue has gone unresolved for several months and has directly affected our ability to plan for the future and move offices as needed.”
Clover writes that the DOC will take over three vacant buildings “for use by the Juvenile Correctional Facility.” He also states that the DOC will “pursue a plan” to build another structure on the campus that would house another 200 juvenile offenders.
A fourth building the DOC requested use of would remain in LSH hands, Clover wrote. In addition, officials will look at building a small gym for use by residents in one of the LSH units, he states.
Two barriers would be built to “maintain sight and sound separation between LSH patients and LJCF juveniles,” Clover wrote. He ends that portion of the email with, “The timelines for these changes have not been determined. As always, this is subject to change.”
Garrison acknowledged that the DOC is looking at housing all male juveniles in Logansport. The department currently also has facilities in South Bend and Pendleton.
Garrison said the recent meeting at the campus was part of the “review and proposal process.”
Lori Harshbarger, superintendent of Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility, said she was unaware of any finalized plans being made. The facility has an intake unit on High Street and a treatment unit on the hospital grounds.
“There have been meetings and talks on the best use of state resources,” she said.
A spokesman with FSSA echoed that statement. The agency has talked with the DOC about using a portion of the campus, said Neal Moore, director of communications and media. He said he believed the plan outlined by Clover was the most recent one discussed, though he also said no final decisions have been made.
Repeated calls to Gov. Mitch Daniels’ office for comment were not returned.
Clover would not elaborate on the role the governor’s office may be playing and initially declined to discuss any plans for the hospital property. When asked about the items outlined in the email, he criticized its release.
“That’s one of the reasons I can’t communicate with staff because people are releasing information,” he said. “I try to communicate with staff, then they burn me like that.”
• Dustin Kass is associate editor of the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5150 or firstname.lastname@example.org.