STATEHOUSE — The state legislature is inserting itself into the fray to try and solve Indianapolis’ problems with violent crime.
The Capital City has set a new record for homicides and murders this year moving past last year’s homicide record of 245 people killed. Other forms of violent crime are up as well, such as carjackings.
A group of state senators is joining together to introduce a series of five bills that are meant to clamp down in order to curtail violent crime in Indianapolis. The cohort is led by Sen. Michael Young (R-Indianapolis), who says one of the bills would make it impossible for organizations like The Bail Project to help provide bail for violent offenders.
“For violent crimes, we’re stopping it. Can’t have third party bail anymore,” Young told Hammer and Nigel on 93 WIBC. “Unless it comes from the third party of a close relative and we’re saying you can’t use taxpayers’ dollars for bail.”
Court records say that the city of Indianapolis has already suspended its agreement with The Bail Project to provide bail for jail inmates.
Another bill is in lockstep with the aforementioned bill when it comes to bail. Young says this one would address issues with low bail for violent felons. Under the legislation, if someone commits a violent felony, they would have to get the minimum of the county bail schedule.
In Marion County, that means bail for a violent felon could not be lower than $20,000 and if they are arrested for a second time for a violent felony bail would be doubled to $40,000 minimum. A third bill also would require courts to review arrest records for violent offenders before issuing bail.
Then a fourth bill would tackle inter-agency cooperation within Marion County.
“We’re not working together. We’re not doing things together. We’re not using other agencies,” said Young. “We have a law that says if you’re a hospital or a university (police officer), you can’t go off your campus. They could be seeing a crime happening right across the street and they can’t go over there!”
The same bill also addresses resources for stricter electronic monitoring of felons out on bail with ankle monitors and such.
Finally, the last bill creates a pilot program to put more police and resources into high-crime areas.
Statehouse Democrats are raising concerns that non of the bills attacks the root cause of crime. There is also nothing made public yet about how the bills will be paid for.