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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - More on "DOC is crying wolf at criminal code reform"

Yesterday the ILB posted this entry quoting from an Anderson Herald Bulletin editorial that began:

The Indiana General Assembly has been working on revamping the criminal code for more than a year. Many believe that we are putting too many people in jail who don't need to be there: low-level, nonviolent offenders, mostly related to drugs.

Now that a bill has been crafted, Gov. Mike Pence and his Department of Correction deputy commissioner Randy Koester are coming out against the bill, saying it would nearly double the inmate population in the next decade.

In response, a reader wrote to the ILB last evening:
You posted an editorial about the Governor and the DOC speaking out against the criminal code reform bill. The editorial seemed confused about why the bill would increase the prison population. The editorial also expressed confusion over why the Governor waited so long to oppose the bill.

I have a possible answer: because the current version of the criminal code reform bill is not the version that was originally proposed. The current version now includes a requirement that inmates serve 75%, not 50%, of the sentences that they receive. The current version also removes several important time cuts that inmates often earn to reduce their sentences.

Unless the sentencing ranges for the various felony levels are greatly reduced from the current ranges, inmates will actually spend longer in prison than they currently do for many offenses.

As much as it pains me to say this (!!), the Governor and the DOC are right.

The ILB has checked, and the reader is correct on the bill's changes.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 4, 2013 09:35 AM
Posted to Indiana Government