A new report by the Vera Institute of Justice details the effects of Indiana House Bill 1006 (passed in 2013, with changes upto 2015). The bill – intending to fight the effects of mass incarceration – included reclassifying new felonies and lessening sentences hasn’t had such a positive result.
An increasing number of people have been held in county jails resulting in a need for jail expansions. Known from decades of experience of jail and prison construction across the county, investment in larger jails leads to higher incarceration rates – if you build it, they will fill it. No other state has added so many to its jail population so rapidly since Nevada in 2003.
This massive growth in Indiana’s jail population comes at the same time as a 47% increase in drug overdose deaths in the state. Incarceration without treatment increases the risk of overdose after release, and jails have little to no drug treatment, unlike the state prisons.