STATEHOUSE (Jan. 25, 2022) – Five bills aiming to curb violent crime in Marion County and the state as a whole passed the Senate today.
Senate Bill 6, authored by State Sen. R. Michael Young (R-Indianapolis), would reduce the number of violent offenders released on bail by requiring courts to review arrest warrants before release, holding open bail hearings and requiring repeat violent offenders to pay the full minimum bail amount in cash. SB 6 passed by a vote of 36-11.
"We are glad our colleagues in the Senate agree that something needs to be done to address Indiana's crime problem," Young said. "We have heard from the citizens of Indianapolis, as well as residents across the state, and we firmly believe these actions will go a long way toward protecting Hoosiers."
Senate Bill 7, authored by State Sen. Jack E. Sandlin (R-Indianapolis), would establish a Marion County crime reduction board that would allow for interoperability between law enforcement agencies. SB 7 passed by a vote of 40-7.
"I think this kind of collaboration could be an example for other cities in our state and across the country," Sandlin said. "I look forward to seeing this bill through the legislative process and hopefully seeing the results for years to come."
Senate Bill 8, authored by State Sen. Aaron Freeman (R-Indianapolis), aims to regulate charitable bail organizations by requiring they register with the Department of Insurance. SB 8 would also prohibit these organizations from bailing out individuals charged with a felony and ensure taxpayer money, in the form of crime prevention grants, is not used to post bail for criminal defendants. SB 8 passed by a vote of 32-14.
"I appreciate that my fellow senators see the need to reign in some of the practices of these organizations," Freeman said. "My hope is that, going forward, we can use our tax dollars in a more effective way than putting criminals back on the street."
Senate Bill 9, authored by State Sen. Kyle Walker (R-Lawrence), would implement stricter standards for electronic monitoring by increasing oversight of those being monitored and increasing penalties for tampering with monitors or violating their detention order. This legislation would also allow victims to be alerted if the individual wearing a monitor leaves their designated location. SB 9 passed by a vote of 46-1.
"By ensuring those out on bail or on pretrial release are being sufficiently monitored, Hoosiers can have greater peace of mind," Walker said. "This is a necessary policy change and I am glad my colleagues agree."
Senate Bill 10, authored by State Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield), would establish a pilot program to distribute funds to high-crime areas in Marion County to cover overtime and additional services for law enforcement officers. The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute would operate the program. SB 10 passed 46-1.
"This piece of legislation allows resources to be directed where they are needed most," Crider said. "Being able to study and target persistent issues over the next few years is an avenue well worth exploring."
These bills now move to the House of Representatives for further consideration.