INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
A report to Indiana lawmakers shows the state hasn’t seen significant
savings from an overhaul of criminal sentencing laws aimed at sending fewer
people convicted of nonviolent crimes to prison.
presented to a legislative committee Tuesday shows the average monthly
number of new state prison inmates declined from nearly 650 in 2014 to more
than 120 last year. That decline allowed the state to close the Henryville
Correctional Facility in southeastern Indiana, reducing spending by nearly
But Chris Johnston
of KSM Consulting told lawmakers that most of those offenders are ending up
in county jails, rather than community corrections and probation programs.
The KSM study found the state’s $11 million estimated annual prison savings
are largely consumed by the nearly $9.5 million it pays to counties holding
low-level felons in jail.
Sen. Mike Young,
R-Indianapolis, said the intent of the 2014 overhaul wasn’t to shift those
offenders to jails.
The state has spent
millions to add staff to community corrections, which includes work release,
home detention, probation and addiction treatment. Rep. Ed Delaney,
D-Indianapolis, said these resources aren’t being used any more than before
“(House Bill) 1006
in my opinion didn’t work,” said Sen. Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis. “We just
transferred the liability.”
The committee will
meet twice more in October before deciding whether to recommend policy
The state spends
about $780 million annually on corrections, which is 4.6 percent of general