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By Erin Houchin

Keeping criminals off our streets, and continuing to make Indiana a safer place to live, work, and raise our families is a top priority for me in the state Senate. This session, I have authored several law enforcement bills which are at various stages in the legislative process.

One of these bills, Senate Bill 405, deals with individuals who are already incarcerated.

Currently, if an individual commits a misdemeanor or a level 6 felony, he or she is sent to the local county jail to serve the sentence. If an individual commits a higher level crime, he or she is sent to an Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) prison. 

If an inmate commits a misdemeanor or a class 6 felony while incarcerated in an IDOC facility, he or she is sent back to the county jail to serve the additional sentence.

This is an inefficient practice which burdens law enforcement, and leads to overpopulation in our county jail facilities. 

If passed, SB 405 would require a person convicted of a misdemeanor while incarcerated in an IDOC facility to serve any additional time in that same IDOC facility instead of being transferred back to the county level.

This will help to prevent overcrowding in our local jails, and alleviate taxpayer costs to transfer these inmates.

SB 405 was approved by the Senate, and now moves to the House of Representatives for their consideration.

This is common sense legislation aimed at making our criminal justice system more efficient, and I look forward to seeing it continue to move through the legislative process.

You can track this bill and others at www.in.gov/iga.

If you have any thoughts or questions on issues affecting Indiana, please contact me by email at [email protected] or by phone at 800-382-9467.