Indiana lawmakers are poised to dial back a change to state code that officials say contributed to recent jail population growth at the Monroe County Jail

County officials have in the past attributed jail inmate population challenges to the growing addiction crisis in the community and changes at the state level regarding the incarceration of Level 6 felons. On Jan. 1, 2016, an update to state code made Level 6 felons ineligible to be sent to state correctional facilities.

The result: County jail populations grew.

“When the DOC quit receiving Level 6 felons, and sent back people who had already been is state prisons, the Monroe County Jail became noticeably more crowded to the detriment of the jail staff and the people who are incarcerated in our jail,” county commissioner Lee Jones said.

This particular group of low-level felons can be sentenced from six months to two and a half years for crimes ranging from possession of controlled substances to fraud.

House Bill 1078 would allow, effective July 1, local courts to send convicted Level 6 felons to state prisons if:

■¦The person is a violent offender.

■¦The person or has two prior unrelated felony convictions.

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