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Delaware County Jail research files

Identifier: MSS-181

Scope and Contents

The Delaware County Jail research files is a collection of newspaper clippings compiled and indexed by the Center for Middletown Studies. They range from 1978 to 1997, though the index only includes the newspaper clippings until 1994. These articles are clipped from the Muncie Evening Press and the Muncie Star respectively. The substance of the articles focuses mostly on the building plans of the new Delaware County Justice Center and the controversies surrounding the construction, but some concern inmate behavior. The original index of the articles dated 1979 until 1994 is included as part of this Finding Aid. Articles not included in this index are listed under the folder entitled "Newspaper clippings not indexed."


  • Creation: 1978-1997

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Historical Note

In 1978, controversy about overcrowding in the Delaware County Jail developed and a class action suit was filed by inmates of the jail alleging improper jail conditions, especially overcrowding. A state inspection of the jail in March of 1980 resulted in demands that the problems be addressed. A compromise in the inmates' lawsuit was reached in January 1981 required the county to pay for the legal fees of the inmates and propose a resolution to the problems of overcrowding, poor lighting, insufficient diet, lack of bedding and more by September of the same year. Finally, in November 1985, a resolution was approved by the court. Demolition of the existing jail was approved, but the court said that a new jail should be finished by July 1, 1987, and no later than August 25, 1987. After this decision, planning for a new jail began and Muncie government officials made several poor decisions concerning the finances of the project. As architects and negligent contractors were fired, ineffective equipment was purchased, county officials indicted, and accusations of fraud and wasted taxpayer money were made, court cases ensued. After years of city/county officials haggling and legal controversy, the new jail was finally opened in November 1992. A main reason for the delay was severe design and construction errors.


2 Cubic Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2001/04 by R. Wilcox. EAD finding aid created 2012/10/12 by Julie Hausknecht. EAD finding aid revised 2013/03/06 by Bethany Fiechter.

Delaware County Jail research files
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA