Vermillion County leaders seek ways to lower the jail population

A meeting with the Indiana Office of Court Services and some Vermillion County residents talked about how they could help the jail overcrowding.

Posted: Oct 28, 2019 10:29 PM
Updated: Oct 28, 2019 10:37 PM

VERMILLION COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) -- Across the Wabash Valley counties are dealing with overpopulation problems in their jails. Now, they are choosing to either expand or rebuild.

Last month we told you Vermillion County, Indiana was considering an expansion of its jail. County leaders said they would be doing a feasibility study.
Monday night, they held a public hearing to talk about the next step, but it wasn't just to talk about the building or expansion of the Vermillion County jail.

They also talked about the amendment of Criminal Rule 26 in the state of Indiana and how it could help with overcrowding.

Mary Kay Hudson the Executive Director for the Indiana office of court services spoke to some people in Vermillion County. She was there to talk to the County Council about several things including Indiana criminal rule 26.

Council President John Michael Major wanted the council to hear of different ways they can fix overcrowding. Only 2 members of the council showed up at the meeting.

Criminal Rule 26 gives the courts the power to release an arrestee without bail money before their trial. Of course, there are restrictions on this. For example, if they were charged with murder or treason they can not have a pretrial release.

Many counties across Indiana are testing this out right now. Hudson said some counties see a decrease in inmate numbers. Others just see a change in the makeup of inmates in the jail.

She said one of the next steps for the county would be to form a local multidisciplinary policy team, form workgroups, and analyze their criminal justice practices.

Unfortunately, no one would go on camera to talk about if they would start this in the County or how it would help. Since only two of the council members were present nothing was decided on tonight.

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