Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett laid out plans for a new jail in his recent State of the City Address, and in doing so linked Marion County’s criminal justice woes to the city’s financial problems. The Libertarian Party of Marion County said the mayor missed several key points.
Libertarian Party of Marion County chairman Chris Mayo said Mayor Hogsett cannot correlate an uptick in crime to the city’s failure to balance a checkbook, and then suggest spending money on a new jail as a remedy. “If it’s an overcrowding problem, then we need to re-evaluate what constitutes a crime, and what doesn’t,” Mayo said.
Mayor Hogsett’s speech came on the heels of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department saying the jail is “overcrowded.”
“We have a serious and dangerous problem with priorities here. We are wasting time, money, and valuable space punishing people and ruining lives combating victimless crimes,” said Mayo, remarking on the simple fixes necessary. “Our city isn’t going to solve violent crime by arresting people for petty offenses and spending more money we don’t have to create a facility to throw them in.”
Mayo went on to point out that Mayor Hogsett’s proposals aren’t all that new. “The Mayor’s address sounded eerily similar to the proposals Mayor Ballard advocated for last year. It’s pretty evident that – whether the mayor is a Democrat or Republican – they want to put the taxpayers on the hook for a project that provides nothing except a profit for those advocating for it.” Mayo continued by adding that, “The Mayor is correct; the city has financial issues and a corresponding crime problem. But spending more money on a facility with the intent to fill it isn’t going solve anything.”
The Libertarian Party of Marion County has been a strong advocate for fiscal responsibility by our city’s officials, decriminalizing or deprioritizing non-violent conduct, and engaging local communities to address violent crime.