The Monroe County Jail’s inmate population has increased about 20 percent in the past year, causing local officials to check on availability at neighboring jails, and with some results.

“We’ve never really housed people outside of Monroe County before,” jail commander Sam Crowe said this week. That changed this year as some Monroe County inmates have been temporarily or permanently moved to jails in neighboring counties or to state prisons.

The jail’s population continues to exceed a population cap of 278 inmates established in an agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana. Monroe County officials have linked the increase in inmate numbers to more felony arrests and opioid-related criminal cases.

The Monroe County Jail has a total bed capacity of 294 after a new mental health dormitory opened earlier this year.

One Monroe County inmate was moved to another county’s facility for safety reasons after the inmate testified against another jail inmate, who started making threats. Another inmate was moved to a state prison facility as he awaited trial on Monroe County charges. That inmate became violently aggressive to Monroe County staff, they reported.

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