Indiana bill may limit county jail’s ability to rent beds, collect revenue

The bill, set to go into effect in July, will make theft under $750 a misdemeanor, potentially meaning more inmates at the county jail and less space for bed rentals.

Posted on June 13, 2014 at 11:34 a.m.

A new state bill has Sheriff Brad Rogers worried about the jail’s ability to rent out beds to other law enforcement entities in the future.

Rogers brought up the issue Thursday, June 12, at the Elkhart County Council’s monthly finance meeting.

The new law is Indiana House Bill 1006, set to go into effect in July. Among other changes to the criminal code, theft under $750 will be considered a misdemeanor, WISH-TV reports. Under current Indiana law, all thefts are considered felonies.

That means more inmates could be housed at the Elkhart County Jail instead of at state prisons, meaning a fuller capacity. Currently, 680 out of 1,000 beds are occupied, Rogers said.

The jail has rented out beds to the Indiana Department of Corrections and recently signed a contract with the U.S. Marshals to house their detainees.

Bed rental has been a considerable source of income for the county, bringing in as much as $600,000 in a year, Rogers said.

“We’re concerned that our population may increase locally, but without bed rental that comes along with it,” he said.

Recommended for You

Back to top ^