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 94 inmates.

Inmate Accounts

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

Commissary: Inmate Canteen

Phone Time:  InmateSales.com

Chirping (Inmate Text Messaging Device):  InmateSales.com

Offsite/Onsite Video Visitation Scheduling:  InmateSales.com

Visiting an Inmate

Inmates receive 2 twenty minute onsite visits per week.  Each visit may include 2 adults and 1 minor.  Exceptions are made for Inmates with more than 1 minor child they are legally the parent of.  Proof may be requested.  Offsite visits are unlimited based on availability.

Visits are scheduled 24 hours in advance.

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

Lockdown visits are Fridays from 8:00 – 8:30 AM.  An Inmate must be locked down for 10 days prior to receiving a Lockdown Visit.

Rules For Visitation
  1. Visitors must provide picture identification.
  2. No smoking or eating will be permitted in the visiting area.
  3. Voices will be kept at a moderate level.
  4. Visitors and inmates will wear proper clothing.
  5. No photographs or tape recordings will be permitted
  6. Items will not be passed between visitors and inmates.
  7. Visitors under the age of 18 will not be permitted to visit unless they meet the following criterea:
    • They are the inmates child (biological, step, or adopted)
    • They have proof of marriage to the inmate
    • They are accompanied by their legal guardian
  8. Visitors and inmates are to conduct themselves in an orderly manner at all times or the visit will be terminated.
  9. Visitors may leave money for inmates by using the Kioskin the Lobby.
  10. For contact visits, all visitors will be searched or they will be declined the visit.
  11. If it is determined that a visitor has brought contraband into the facility, visits will be terminated and the visitor may be prosecuted.
  12. All unauthorized items must be secured in the provided lockers in the lobby area.
  13. Absolutely no property will be released or accepted during visits.
  14. Maximum security inmates are allowed a total of one visit per week.  This visit will not exceed 10 minutes.
  15. Visitation in the intake holding area shall be limited to professional visitors, such as bondsmen, attorneys, ministers, etc.
  16. Professional visitors shall be on approval only and shall be required to prove authorized access.  Professional visitors may visit at any reasonable hour except during meals.
  17. Contact visits are limited to your children and any four of the following:  Spouse, Parents, and Grandparents.
  18. 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.
  19. No children will be left unattended on the property or in vehicles.
  20. If the inmate is voluntarily locked down, their visit will be denied.
Dress Code for Jail Visitation

The following Dress Code will be enforced:

  • Shirts must have sleeves
  • Shirts must cover the midriff at all times
  • 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
  • Purses, gym bags, diaper bags or any other type of bags will not be allowed in visitation
  • Coats, jackets, and any other outer clothing will not be allowed in visitation
  • You will be asked to empty your pockets and leave all items, including keys and cell phones, in a locker.  Lockers are located 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 is subject to opening and inspection for the safety and security of the Jail.  There are no restrictions on the number of letters that an inmate may receive, but there are size and content restrictions.  Only letter and legal size envelopes are acceptable.  Postcards will not be accepted.

Other than letters, the only other items that will be accepted are photographs that are no larger than 4”X6” that are printed on photo paper.  (Polaroid photos are not accepted.)  Photocopies of photographs or pictures are not acceptable.  All other items are considered contraband and prohibited property and will be withheld and placed in your property.  Envelopes containing letters from multiple individuals will be withheld and placed in your property.

If you were recently released from this facility, you must wait 30 days to send letters in to another inmate.

You may pay for a subscription to a newspaper or periodic publication for an inmate who is incarcerated here. The subscription must be paid in full in order for the offender to receive it. To avoid nuisance contraband in the facility an inmate may only receive two (2) publications under the following circumstances:

  • The subscription must be paid for in full prior to the inmate receiving the copy.
  • 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.
  • No publications may be transferred to another inmate or forwarded if the subscribing inmate leaves the jail.
  • All publications must be sent directly from the publisher to the inmate thru the mail.
  • All magazines are subject to review by the Sheriff.

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 the 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: inmates 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.  Inmates will not be allowed to keep the envelope or any portion of the envelope.  If you want them to have your address, you must write it somewhere in the letter. Rejected mail will be placed in the inmates property.

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
4.  Plans for escaping or unauthorized entry
5.  Gang graffiti or tagged correspondence (i.e., language, signs, symbols,
coded words and/or messages)
6.  Drawings or artwork on the outside of outgoing envelopes
7.  Items, tools or information which would create serious danger of violence
or harm to person or property
8.  Mail that contains potentially infectious or offensive material
9.  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
10. Printed e-mail or internet messages, jokes or song lyrics
11. Photocopies of photographs or pictures
12. Magazine or newspaper clippings
13. Any items that would be illegal to possess
14. Mail from an inmate at another facility
15. If you have any court order restricting contact with the sender

The Jail is not responsible for delays or errors on the part of the U.S. Postal service in the delivery of mail.

“Return to sender” will be marked on all mail and returned to the U.S. Postal service if the inmate is no longer housed in the Jail.

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.

© Copyright 2023 Wells County Government | Privacy Policy
Designed & Hosted by Claghorn Designs LLC