St. Joseph County Jail Design and Feasibility Study

The St. Joseph County retained DLZ to complete a feasibility study analyzing the current jail and determining future adult detention needs. DLZ evaluated six alternatives and included in the final report presented to the County. The St. Joseph County Jail is designed to accommodate 844 inmates in housing pods configured in a circular, two-tiered design arrangement. This design facilitates direct observation of inmates by staff at all times, optimizing staff control of the inmates and minimizing staffing requirements. The exterior skin of the building includes the use of utility size brick in conjunction with architectural precast accent elements.

The design for the St. Joseph County Jail provides four housing pods, with provisions for constructing three additional housing pods in the future.  The current plan has 435 cells allocated as follows: Inmate Housing – 384 cells, Intake/Processing – 25 cells, Medical Area – 22 cells, Drunk Tank – 2 cells, Multi-Holding – 2 cells.

The core area of the building, centrally located, provides support space for the inmate housing pods.  The support areas located in the central core of the building include the library for educational program activities, medical services, food services, inmate commissary, laundry, visitation, administration, and jail staff.  The core area also includes space for an arraignment courtroom.

Indoor and outdoor recreational areas and space for classrooms are adjacent to the inmate housing pods.  Each housing pod is programmed to have an indoor recreation area, outdoor recreation area, and classroom/chapel.

These materials require minimum maintenance and meet the long-term life cycle requirements established for the project. The building provides approximately 250,000 square feet of space and meets all current Indiana jail rules, including applicable standards established by the American Correctional Association.




Public Safety


South Bend, Indiana