October 1, 2019

Task Force Tackles Overcrowding In County Jails Across The State

Law enforcement and community members attend the Jail Overcrowding Task Force at the French Lick Resort, Sept. 30, 2019.  - Adam Pinsker/WFIU-WTIU News

Law enforcement and community members attend the Jail Overcrowding Task Force at the French Lick Resort, Sept. 30, 2019.

Adam Pinsker/WFIU-WTIU News
Adam Pinsker

A bipartisan task force to address jail overcrowding kicked off the first of three meetings with local law enforcement around the state Monday in French Lick.

State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) proposed legislation creating the task force earlier this year, after hearing about jail overcrowding problems in each of the seven southeast Indiana counties he represents.

“Building a new jail will accommodate more prisoners, but it doesn’t solve the problem it’s more about treating the symptom,” Frye says.

Frye says the task force will look at whether overcrowding is linked to prisoners not being able to post bail, longer sentences, and drug problems.

State Rep. J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis) says he’s worried about having enough people on staff at jails to deal with mental health issues.

“I’ve heard from different folks that our jails are serving as detox centers, I’ve heard from different folks that mental health is a problem,” Ford says.

The panel will forward its findings to the state legislature in early 2020.

The task force will hold two more meetings: on Oct. 30 and Nov. 6 and will announce a location later.

Support independent journalism today. You rely on WFYI to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Donate to power our nonprofit reporting today. Give now.

 

Related News

Senate passes proposed change to Indiana constitution to refuse bail for more people
Solar advocates condemn utility influence on Indiana lawmakers at Renewable Energy Day
Committee passes bill to give Hoosiers more control over the personal data companies keep