Law change could mean more prisoners in county jail

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Starting this summer, offenders convicted of crimes, such as theft or possession of narcotics, no longer will be sent to a state prison and instead will stay here in the county jail that was overcrowded most of the fall.

The state could decide to pay counties for keeping those offenders in their jails, since that will remove as many as 3,800 people from state prisons and save $12.5 million by 2020. But the extra money, if approved by a state budget committee, won’t relieve overcrowding problems that the sheriff is concerned about.

Indiana lawmakers tweaked a law overhauling the state’s criminal code, which changes how felony charges are classified and the sentences judges can impose for convictions.

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