Counties across Indiana are trying to solve an issue that was created by the state. A few years ago we some changes were made to criminal conviction levels. That was a good move, however the unintended consequence was shifting convicted populations into our county jails, instead of in state (DOC) facilities.

There are hundreds of millions of dollars in new jail investment taking place at the county level, while the state has extra capacity because of this shift. To solve the problem, the General Assembly needs to shift those who absolutely must be incarcerated from county jails to state facilities.

We need to have a solution to our jail, but we are not in this alone.

Counties have been asked to pass an additional Local Option Income Tax (LOIT) tax to fund new jails, instead of the state handling the issue that they created. Our county jails need to be used for short term housing, not the completion of sentences.

Long Term, Henry County jail does need to be replaced. I do NOT support a LOIT tax increase for this project. We can shift the expense from the Justice Center payments into the construction of a modern jail that is going to meet our needs.

Although it is not in the job description of the county council to do it, I think we should eliminate jail sentences for victimless crimes. We need to continually petition our representatives at the state and federal level to stop this unnecessary burden on taxpayers.

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