Wells County

Sheriff's Office

WELLS COUNTY sheriff's office
1615 W. Western Ave.
Bluffton, IN 46714
(260) 824-3426
(260) 824-6424
Click To Email Us
wells county sheriff
Scott HollidayWells County Sheriff

Sheriff Scott Holliday joined the Wells County Sheriffs’ Office in 2002 as a Reserve Officer.  He was hired on Full-time on January 6, 2003.  Sheriff Holliday was elected for his first term as Sheriff on January 1, 2019.

Sheriff Holliday has been been married to Tara Smith for 22 years.  They have 4 children and 4 grandchildren.

The sheriff’s department and jail are located at 1615 Western Avenue on the west end of Bluffton, IN 46714, Phone 260-824-3426. Fax 260-824-6424.  The current facility was built in 1985 and houses 98 inmates.

Inmate Accounts

To add money to Inmate Accounts, please visit the following websites:

Commissary: Setup or Sign In: Inmate Canteen

Phone Time:  InmateSales.com

Chirping (Inmate Text Messaging Device):  InmateSales.com

Offsite/Onsite Video Visitation Scheduling:  InmateSales.com

Visiting an Inmate

Visits are scheduled 24 hours in advance.

To schedule a visit go to InmateSales.com or Call 1-866-340-7879


Rules For Visitation

Rules for On-site Video Visitation

  • Each visit shall be a maximum of 2 adult visitors and 1 child.  If the inmate has more than 1 child, they may all come together.
  • All unauthorized items must be secured in the lockers provided in the lobby.
  • If it is determined that a visitor has brought contraband into the facility, visits will be terminated, and the visitor may be prosecuted.
  • Voices will be kept at a moderate level.
  • Visitors and inmates must always wear proper clothing. (refer to dress code)
  • Absolutely NO cell phones, computers, cameras or tape/video recordings will be permitted during the visit
  • Anyone caught using a cell phone or any other electronic device during the visit will have their visit terminated and be subject to being banned
  • Visitors and inmates are always to conduct themselves in an orderly manner or the visit will be terminated, and the visitor will be subject to being banned.
  • No visitor is to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Visitation privileges can be revoked.  The inmate and visitor must follow all visitation rules.  The safety and security of the facility will not be jeopardized.
  • No children will be left unattended on the property or in vehicles.

Rules for Off-site Video Visitation

  • Visitors and inmates will always wear proper clothing.
  • Any inmate or visitor who is caught exposing themselves will be banned from future visitations.
  • Anyone caught using a cell phone or any other electronic device to record the visitation or to conduct 3-way calls, will have their visit terminated and be subject to being banned from future visitations.
  • Visitors and inmates are always to conduct themselves in an orderly manner.  Otherwise, the visit may be terminated, and the visitor may be banned from future visitations.
  • No visitor is to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Visitation privileges can be revoked.  The inmate and visitor must follow all visitation rules.  The safety and security of the facility will not be jeopardized.

Dress Code for Jail Visitation

  • The following Dress Code will be enforced:
  • Shirts must have sleeves
  • Shirts must always cover the midriff
  • Shirts must cover the chest sufficiently to prevent cleavage from being visible at any time
  • Shorts must be knee length
  • Pants must fit sufficiently to prevent underwear from being visible at any time
  • Dresses and skirts must be knee length
  • Hats and sunglasses must be removed before entering visitation
  • You will be asked to secure cell phones in a locker.  Lockers are in the lobby and require a quarter to operate.  Once the key is inserted to retrieve your items, the quarter will be returned to you.


Please use common sense when dressing to visit at our Jail.  If you are dressed inappropriately, you will be denied visitation for that day.  All Jail rules are subject to change without notice at the discretion of Jail Staff.

Bail Bondsmen

The following is a list of people who can be used as Bail Bondsmen in Wells County.  

Bail Bondsmen List
Inmate Mail

All incoming mail will be scanned and sent to their inmate email account located on the kiosk.  The original letter will be placed in their personal property.  There are no restrictions on the number of letters you may receive, but there are size and content restrictions.  Only letter and legal-size envelopes are acceptable. 

Other than letters, the only other items you are allowed will be photographs.  All photos will also be sent to their inmate email account and the originals will be placed in their property.  All other items are considered contraband and prohibited property and will be withheld and placed in their property.  Envelopes containing letters from multiple individuals will be withheld and placed in their property. We will not provide you with paper copies of letters or photos.

You may not receive mail from any inmate from this or any jail, detention center or correctional facility without prior approval from the Jail Commander.  Letters received will be placed in their inmate property. 

You may pay for a subscription to a newspaper or periodic publication and receive a subscription paid for by a person in the community. You may also receive books that are sent direct from the publisher.  To avoid nuisance contraband in the facility an inmate may only receive two (2) publications/books under the following circumstances:

  1. a) The subscription must be paid for in full

                prior to the inmate receiving the copy.

  1. b) The inmate may only possess one copy of the

                publication at a time. The old copy comes out

                before the new copy goes into the cell area.

  1. c) No publications may be transferred to another

                inmate or forwarded if the subscribing inmate

                leaves the jail.

  1. d) All publications/books must be sent directly from the

 publisher to the inmate through the mail.

  1. e) All publications/books are subject to review by the Sheriff.

Incoming books will be logged prior to you receiving them.  If you previously received books, those must be returned prior to receiving the new books.  You may either place them in their property or donate them to the Jail library.  If you decide not to return them at that time, the new books will be placed in their property and will remain there until you are released. If you would like to donate them, we will have you fill out a form showing that you choose to do so and the books then become property of the Wells County Jail.  At no time will you be allowed to have more than two (2) books in their cell.


All money orders will be removed from inmate mail and placed on the inmate's commissary account. The inmate will receive a receipt for any money deposited in their inmate account. Personal checks or traveler's checks will not be accepted for deposit, they will be placed in the inmate’s property.  Inmates are not allowed to have money in their possession while housed in the Wells County Jail. Money Orders must be made payable to:   

     Wells County Jail

                             1615 W. Western Ave.

                             Bluffton, IN  46714

                             ATTN: their name


Jail staff will remove all stickers from inmate mail.  If the number of stickers is excessive, the mail will be rejected.  All incoming mail must have a return address with the full name of the sender.  Rejected mail will be placed in their inmate property pending final disposition. 

Outgoing or incoming mail may be rejected if there is reason to believe that it may contain inappropriate materials, including but not limited to:

  1. Plans for the introduction of contraband
  2. Plans for criminal activity
  3. Instructions for the manufacturing of weapons, drugs, drug paraphernalia,

    explosives or alcoholic beverages

  1. Plans for escaping or unauthorized entry
  2. Gang graffiti or tagged correspondence (i.e., language, signs, symbols,

    coded words and/or messages)

  1. Drawings or artwork on the outside of outgoing envelopes
  2. Items, tools or information which would create danger of violence

    or harm to person or property

  1. Mail that contains potentially infectious or offensive material
  2. Photographs that contain nudity or sexually explicit depictions, promote racial conflict or discrimination, gang affiliation or signs or that would

    disrupt the safe and secure operation of the Jail.

  1. Printed e-mail or internet material, jokes, or song lyrics
  2. Photocopies of photographs or pictures
  3. Magazine or newspaper clippings
  4. Any items that would be illegal to possess
  5. Mail from an inmate at another facility
  6. If you have any court order restricting contact with the sender



Jail History

The first Wells County Jail was located on the southwest corner of the lot where the present courthouse stands, adjacent to the original courthouse. The jail, built by David Whitman, a Bluffton farmer, consisted of one foot square hewn timbers with dimensions of 18′ x 20′ and was two stories tall.

A fire destroyed the both early courthouse and jail in 1845, and in that same year, commissioners accepted a new brick courthouse on the present site after the first structure became unsatisfactory. There are, however, no reports of construction of a second jail until 1855-56 when a brick lock-up was built just south of the courthouse. This brick jail stood on the south end of the courthouse and was occupied by the clerk’s and recorder’s offices. It was condemned along with the courthouse and razed to make room for the present courthouse, which was dedicated in 1889. What became of the brick jail is unknown, but the News-Banner reported on January 10, 1947 that a small house on 657 South Dougherty Street had a small fire, the house at 6 thick walls and was, at one time, a jail, stated the report.

Jonathon P. Smith of Bluffton erected the second jail, designed by Edgar J. Hodgson, an Indianapolis architect, in 1880 for $21,400. An extensive remodeling project was conducted in 1961-62 as a result of several jailbreaks and a report from the State Jail Inspector citing overall inadequacies in the jail. A group of young southerners escaped first by forcing open an unused dumbwaiter shaft, climbing up to the attic and walking boldly down a stairway and out the main lobby. After being recaptured, they chiseled through original river rock flooring soft sandstone which had cracked with age and crawled out through a coal chute. As an effect of the jailbreaks, the Wells County residents were accused of partial blame for permitting the jail to remain in its sad and archaic state and that the jail appeared to be held together with bailing wire, chewing gum and twine string. Harold Fiely, a Portland attorney, said that the jail was one of the five worst in Indiana; and at the time, said he could not remember one that was worse. In May 1961 Reiff Construction Company began a major renovation on the jail and was completed in January 1962.

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