Sheriff: Federal oversight could end soon at Indiana jail

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A sheriff in northwest Indiana says a county jail could be released from oversight by the U.S. Department of Justice later this year.

The Lake County Sheriff John Buncich tells The (Munster) Times that the county's jail is closer to the end of a costly six-year intervention meant to improve medical services and sanitation.

In 2009, the Justice Department's civil rights division said the Lake County Jail was deficient according to federal standards after a rash of suicides and a disease outbreak amid overcrowding.

The jail's annual budget has ballooned from $13.6 million in 2009 to $24 million this year.

The sheriff says a county-paid consultant could watch over the jail's performance next year if the jail remains in compliance. After that, he says all federal contact could cease.

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