Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has endorsed the findings of a sweeping review of the state’s criminal code and sentencing guidelines. Daniels says if enacted, the results from the study by the Pew Center on the States would hold down the growth of the state’s prison population and save taxpayers money. Recommendations in the study include moving non-violent offenders into community-based programs to free up space in prisons for the most violent criminals.
Pew Center researcher Richard Jerome said Indiana’s prison population has grown about 40 percent in the last decade. That’s three times faster than neighboring states. Indiana’s prisons currently hold 29,000 inmates. Daniels recommended the study’s changes be written into bills and passed by the General Assembly. State Senator Brent Steele will introduce the changes to the Indiana Senate.
Daniels today also announced that New Castle Correctional Facility will be constructing a five hundred bed high security annex. The construction is being funded by GEO Group, who operates the prison. The project is expected to be finished in February of 2012.
Indiana Public Broadcasting and the Associated Press contributed to this report.