Bill to Address Jail Overcrowding Advances to Governor's Desk

Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at 9:50 AM

By State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg), news release

The legislation was authored by State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg).

INDIANAPOLIS - State Rep. Randy Frye's (R-Greensburg) legislation to boost local resources to fight crime and to help address jail overcrowding could soon be law.

Frye, who chairs the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and Public Safety, said House Enrolled Act 1004 would provide judicial flexibility so Level 6 felony offenders can be sent to the Indiana Department of Correction. The state often offers greater access to mental health and addiction treatment services than many local jails.

"Jail overcrowding is a complex issue, and many of our local jails struggle with repeat offenders," Frye said. "One way to reduce recidivism across the state is to connect low-level offenders to mental health and drug addiction resources, which could lessen the burden placed on our local communities. DOC has more tools and resources these Hoosiers need to have a better chance at recovering and staying out of our criminal justice system." 

According to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute's 2021 annual evaluation of Indiana criminal code reform, nearly 75% of all felony criminal filings were Level 6 felonies. The report also found 4 of the top 10 felony filings for 2021 were substance-related: Possession of methamphetamine, syringe possession, possession of a narcotic drug and operating while intoxicated.

Frye said this bill could also help reduce local jail overcrowding and allow locals to redirect public safety resources to where they matter most.

House Enrolled Act 1004 received support from the Indiana Department of Correction, Indiana Judges Association, Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council and Indiana Sheriffs Association.

Frye's legislation is now eligible to be signed into law by the governor. To stay up-to-date on legislation being considered for new laws by the governor, visit in.gov/gov/newsroom/2022-bill-watch/.

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