Indiana sheriffs say the money they get to house Department of Correction inmates needs to increase.
Counties currently get a $35 per diem for every Level 6 felon they house in their jails. The Indiana Sheriffs Association says it’s been at least 30 years since that changed. Hendricks County Sheriff Brett Clark says that’s untenable.
“The cost of housing and putting persons in jail as far as food and gas for transportation and just the staff that it takes to man some of the mental illness folks that we’re having to deal with, some of the drug addictions that we’re seeing that we didn’t have 30 years ago necessarily to the degree that we do today, are a real challenge,” Clark says.
Clark says the Indiana Sheriffs Association looked at rates in other states and the federal government and want the per diem increased to $55. Based on 2018 data, that increase would cost the state about $45,000 more per year.
The number of Level 6 felons in county jails increased about 37 percent in the last year.