Indiana House passes Pryor bill designed to help address jail overcrowding
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana House members passed legislation authored by State Representative Cherrish Pryor (D-Indianapolis) today to help address jail overcrowding. Pryor’s bill, House Bill 1076, will reduce the number of people in jail by allowing officers to issue a summons for that individual to appear before the court if the individual has committed certain misdemeanors in the presence of a law enforcement official.
This will not apply to violent misdemeanor offenses that involve a victim, a weapon, or an impaired driver; if the person poses a safety risk to themselves, the officer or the public; or if the person falsely identifies themselves to an officer. The law enforcement officer is not required to issue a summons if the person is subject to arrest for another offense, has violated the terms of supervised release, or has an outstanding warrant.
The summons must include a description of the offense and direct the individual to appear in court no later than seven days after the summons is issued.
“I look forward to seeing the positive impact this legislation has on Hoosiers and am excited to see this bill advance in the legislature,” Pryor said.
“Allowing people seven days to appear in court will help individuals who have jobs and families,” continued Pryor. “This legislation will keep people from being housed in county jails as they await trial for sometimes petty crimes. We can and should do better.”
The 2019 Indiana Jail Overcrowding Task Force report recommends developing cite and release procedures as a way to alleviate overcrowding in state jails.
“The legislature recently did a major overhaul of our criminal statute that created challenges with overcrowding at many of our county jails and this legislation is an easy way of reducing that problem,” Pryor added.
House Bill 1076 passed the House with a vote of 97-1 and now moves on to the Senate for further consideration.