INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Taxpayers in dozens of Indiana counties will be paying for new jail beds years after sweeping state criminal code changes began sending more low-level offenders into local jails instead of state prisons.

The Journal Gazette reports that at least 40 jails in Indiana are over capacity. A recent state survey found that almost half of all jail inmates are Level 6 felons, the lowest-level felons.

The state pays jails $35 daily for each of those inmates to cover food and staffing, but the money doesn't pay for additional jail space. Dozens of counties are studying, actively pursuing or developing expansion plans or are in the midst of building new facilities.

Other factors may have also contributed to the crowded jails, such as inmates in jail awaiting trial or sentencing.

Information from: The Journal Gazette,

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