Indianapolis - Last night, the Council’s Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee voted to give Sheriff Frank Anderson the lead in determining the need for additional jail beds. The committee amended Proposal No. 398, 2006 to allow Sheriff Anderson to work through the Criminal Justice Planning Council (CJPC) to identify the jail space needs in addition to the 210 permanent beds that just became immediately available through the efforts of the Sheriff, CJPC and the City-County Council.
"The amendment provides more control and accountability for the people’s money, and Sheriff Anderson working with the Criminal Justice Planning Council, is best equipped to determine the number of jail beds needed, the location of the beds, and the costs associated with providing additional beds," said Council President Monroe Gray.
As the proposal was written, the County would have incurred additional debt with the Indiana Department of Corrections (DOC) if inmates were sent to New Castle. The Sheriff has stated that he would prefer to keep people under his watch inside of Marion County where he has jurisdiction. Until recently, approximately 100 DOC inmates had occupied jail beds in Marion County because the DOC would not take them.
Councillor William "Duke" Oliver said, "The Sheriff has worked with the Council and others to add almost 540 jails beds since 2004, and if additional beds are needed, he will be able to add them under the amended proposal. We must be strategic in our efforts to add jail beds."
"This is another example of criminal justice agencies working with the Council to solve our jail overcrowding problems," said Councillor Mary Moriarty Adams, Public Safety and Criminal Justice chairwoman. "When all of the facts are known it is easier to make informed decisions," she said.
President Gray added, "The Council is dedicated to providing safety to the people of Marion County and working together with all interested parties to find the best solution to solve the problems facing the entire criminal justice system. The Criminal Justice Planning Council needs to continue developing a long-term plan to address the challenges facing our criminal justice system, because each part plays a role in jail overcrowding."
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