Indiana prisons to no longer accept D-felons due to overcrowding

New rule takes effect July 1, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS - Beginning July 1, 2014, the Indiana Department of Corrections will no longer accept certain offenders convicted of D-felonies.

D-felonies are a lower-class of crimes, but include assaults, drug offenses and property crimes.

Starting July 1, offenders convicted of D-felonies and sentenced to 90 days or less will not be accepted to the DOC. Starting July 1, 2015, offenders convicted of D-felonies and sentenced to one year or less will not be accepted into the DOC.

The Indiana Legislature approved the measure in an attempt to reduce overcrowding in the state's prisons and to cut costs.

In Johnson County, the inmate count is 321, just one shy of full capacity. In 2013, nearly 200 D-felony offenders were sent to jail.

Under the new measure, it could mean that Johnson County offenders who should go to jail, won't, Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox said.

"No sheriff wants to release individuals that are going to commit offenses that will come back to haunt them," Cox said.

Indiana's prison population is just shy of 30,000 inmates and nearly 4,400 of them have convictions for D-felony offenses.

Marion County Sheriff John Layton said that more than 10 percent of the inmates come from Marion County.

"It's going to cause a spider web of problems for those facilities to take offenders back from the state and for us to retain the others when they should go to the department of correction," Layton said.

According to the Indiana Sheriff's Association local jails could become a dumping ground for inmates who belong in the DOC.

Follow Jack Rinehart on Twitter: @jackrinehart6

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