KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – The Knox County Jail’s inmate workforce will find itself at the grounds of the county’s old ‘poor farm’ this week to begin gutting the building as part of its revitalization. The Knox County Council last week deeded the building to Sandy Ivers, Pastor, and creator of the New Hope Center. Its aim is to give female Knox County inmates a safe environment to transition into, once they are released from jail.
The goal from there, is to cut recidivism rates; keeping offenders from going back to jail.
“I found that they wanted to make a change but they didn’t have much opportunity because when they got out of jail they went to their old environments,” said Ivers, standing in front of the towering, more than century old brick building.
Ivers admitted to having the building inspected multiple times before moving through with her decision. She explained that the bones of the building were in good shape, but some cosmetic features needed rehabbing.
“The buildings over 100 years old but it’s been checked out and it’s very sound … the roof will be done first, and then after that we can move right in and begin to refurbish the rooms,” said Ivers.
New Hope Center officials will face an uphill climb, though. The building and its new agency are not for profit, and finding funds to complete the challenge, may prove to be a challenge. Despite the financial foray, some help will come by way of the Knox County Jail.
“Next week the Knox County work force from the Sheriff’s Department will be coming in to sort of gut the building,” said Ivers. The reformatted building will feature 16 rooms to aid in the rehabilitation of inmates. Ivers stated six of those rooms were, already had recipients.