New Ind. law boosts public safety, combats jail overcrowding
The law, effective July 1, provides judges the flexibility to send all Level 6 felons to the Department of Correction
By Kevin Green
Greensburg Daily News
GREENSBURG, Ind. — Many of Indiana's local jails suffer from overcrowding, which places additional burdens on public safety officials, presents safety risks to staff and inmates, and drains local budgets.
To help combat overcrowding, a new law effective July 1 provides judges the flexibility to send all Level 6 felons to the Department of Correction.
According to State Rep. Randy Frye (R- Greensburg), in 2021 about 75% of criminal filings were Level 6 felonies. A majority of those filings were substance-related, like possession of narcotics and syringes, and driving while intoxicated.
"With over 90% of Level 6 felons placed in county jails, we can certainly lessen the local burden by giving judges the ability to send them to the DOC," Frye said. "The DOC also provides comprehensive addiction treatment, and with this law I authored, more low-level felons will be connected to important mental health and recovery services.
This is also an important step in lowering recidivism in our criminal justice system. By treating core issues contributing to criminal behavior through programs like Recovery Works implemented by the DOC, we have a better chance of reducing the likelihood that offenders end up incarcerated again."
As chair of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and Public Safety, Frye said he will continue to look for ways to boost public safety efforts and support law enforcement in Southeast Indiana.
"I'm especially grateful for the officers and staff who work hard to manage our jails, and all those who serve and protect our communities," he said.
To learn more about this new law boosting public safety and combating local jail overcrowding, visit iga.in.gov.
Frye represents House District 67, which includes all of Ohio and Switzerland counties as well as portions of Dearborn, Decatur, Jefferson, Jennings and Ripley counties.
(c)2022 the Greensburg Daily News (Greensburg, Ind.)