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Opioid crisis cause of Monroe County jail overcrowding

July 31, 2017

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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