Monroe County jail is consistently overcrowded due to opioid crisis

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INDIANAPOLIS — Monroe County authorities say the county jail is consistently over capacity largely due to Indiana’s opioid crisis.

The (Bloomington) Herald-Times reports that the jail’s inmate population frequently exceeds an inmate cap set after the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana sued the county for overcrowding.

The county agreed in a 2009 settlement to limit the number of inmates to 278. But recently the population has regularly exceeded 300.

Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Marc Kellams says the opioid crisis is a major cause of the surging population.

Some judges have been releasing low-risk offenders without posting bond to help mitigate the problem.

Kellams characterized the overcrowding as a “crisis” and says a plan for a new community corrections center is not enough.

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