Frye said this new law only applies to Level 6 felony offenses committed after June 30, 2022.
INDIANAPOLIS - The governor on Tuesday signed into law State Rep. Randy Frye's (R-Greensburg) bill aimed at boosting local resources to fight crime and helping address jail overcrowding.
Frye, who chairs the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and Public Safety, said House Enrolled Act 1004 provides judicial flexibility so Level 6 felony offenders can be sent to the Indiana Department of Correction. According to Frye, the state's facilities often have more access to mental health and addiction treatment services than many local jails.
"This new law could alleviate some of the overcrowding issues we're continuing to see in our local jails that often struggle with repeat offenders," Frye said. "Sending these Hoosier offenders to DOC can provide them with a better chance at recovery by connecting them with much-needed counseling for addiction and mental health issues, and ultimately help them stay out of the criminal justice system."
According to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute's latest evaluation of Indiana criminal code reform, nearly 75% of all felony criminal filings were Level 6 felonies. The report 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 new law only applies to Level 6 felony offenses committed after June 30, 2022. He said the bill could also help reduce local jail overcrowding and allow locals to redirect public safety resources to where they are needed most.
The new law is backed by the Indiana Department of Correction, Indiana Judges Association, Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council and Indiana Sheriffs Association.
House Enrolled Act 1004 goes into effect July 1, 2022. To stay up-to-date on legislation being considered for new laws by the governor, visit in.gov/gov/newsroom/2022-bill-watch/.