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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - Still more on: Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee meets twice this month

Updating this post from earlier this morning, Rich Callahan of the AP also has a report on yesterday's meeting. Some quotes:

John Speir, the co-founder of the Atlanta-based consulting firm, told committee members the new law's requirement that inmates serve at least 75 percent of their sentences will offset changes lawmakers made in reclassifying offenses and setting new sentencing ranges.

Indiana's current law allows most inmates to be released after serving half or less of their sentences if they stay out of trouble while behind bars.

The sentencing overhaul approved by lawmakers in April was designed to reduce the need to build new prison space or release inmates early by placing low-level offenders in probation, work-release or addiction-treatment programs.

Speir's analysis projects that Indiana's prison population will increase under the new guidelines from about 30,000 in 2014 to more than 35,500 by 2024. In contrast, the analysis found that if the state's current sentencing provisions were to remain in place, Indiana's prison population would rise to just above 34,000 inmates by 2024.

Previous studies of the new law's impact conducted by the state's Department of Correction and the Legislative Services Agency had found that Indiana's prison population would remain flat or decrease in the years ahead.

Speir said his consulting firm tracks sentencing guideline changes either proposed or enacted in six states. He said the long-term effects of such changes are often unclear.

"It can take years for the impact to become apparent," he told members of the Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study committee.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 11, 2013 12:27 PM
Posted to Indiana Government