State Legislature to Consider Sending Class D Felons Back to County Jails

The state legislature will be discussing a piece of legislation this session that would send felons who have committed a Class D Felony back to the county jails to serve their time, rather than serving it in a state facility.

Starke County Sheriff, Oscar Cowen, was asked how this would impact the jail if this legislation is approved.

“We have a problem with overcrowding the way it is now. If the state is going to hold back from accepting D felons that means all of those cases will keep people in our facility which obviously makes it that much tougher housing inmates.”

The Sheriff said that Community Corrections could be big help in keeping those inmates out of the jail.

“Community Corrections has been a great program the way it is and has assisted us in keeping the inmates out of here at this point and I would assume that they would do their best to help deal with us in this program. Until it happens, we’re not sure what will happen.”

The population at the Starke County Jail is still at capacity.

“We’ve been keeping our numbers down. We still average around 50 to 55 inmates on a weekly basis. The State has been cooperating really well and taking our excessive inmates down to the State for us.”

This bill, along with right to work and a state smoking ban will be closely watched in the General Assembly this session.