The Indiana House approved legislation Monday whose author says will, as he puts it, “ease the pressure” on overcrowded jails.
The bill would allow overcrowded county jails to move low-level, nonviolent felons to regional facilities run by the Department of Correction. About half of the state’s county jails are over capacity.
But Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) says the bill doesn’t get to the real problem. He says the vast majority of people in county jails aren’t low-level felons.
“We have a lot of people in the county jails that are awaiting trial," Pierce says. "They’ve not yet been convicted but they can’t make bail.”
Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) acknowledges his bill isn’t a silver bullet.
“It isn’t going to solve all jail overcrowding," Frye says. "But it will certainly ease the pressure on our jails.”
The House approved the bill 74-17. The measure now goes to the Senate.