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Evidence Based Decision Making (EBDM) Documents Published by National Institute of Correction

by National Institute of Correction

The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) announced the final publication of the much anticipated Evidence Based Decision Making (EBDM) series of documents. They are available now in the NIC library.

Evidence-Based Decision Making (EBDM) Primer

This primer was developed to introduce criminal justice and allied professionals to evidence-based decision making. The Primer can be found in the NIC library at

Stakeholder Briefs

The EBDM Stakeholder Briefs are short (hence, “brief”) documents designed to pique the interest of key stakeholder groups in the EBDM process. They also provide an overview of how each stakeholder group can contribute to and influence the implementation of an evidence-based decision making effort in their community.

  1. The Evidence-Based Decision Making Initiative: An Overview for Judges
  2. The Evidence-Based Decision Making Initiative: An Overview for Prosecutors
  3. The Evidence-Based Decision Making Initiative: An Overview for Defense Attorneys
  4. The Evidence-Based Decision Making Initiative: An Overview for Probation
  5. The Evidence-Based Decision Making Initiative: An Overview for Pretrial Executives
  6. The Evidence-Based Decision Making Initiative: An Overview for Law Enforcement
  7. The Evidence-Based Decision Making Initiative: An Overview for Victim Service Providers
  8. The Evidence-Based Decision Making Initiative: An Overview for State and County Legislators and Administrators 

 User’s Guides

 The User’s Guides provide a “deeper dive” into EBDM for selected stakeholder groups and prepare them to become part of an Evidence-Based Decision Making (EBDM) policy team.

  1.  Evidence-Based Decision Making: A Guide for Judges
  2. Evidence-Based Decision Making: A Guide for Prosecutors
  3. Evidence-Based Decision Making: A Guide for Defense Attorneys
  4. Evidence-Based Decision Making: A Guide for Pretrial Executives
  5. Evidence-Based Decision Making: Victim Service Provider User’s Guide

 EBDM Case Studies: Highlights from the Original Seven Pilot Sites

 The EBDM Case Studies is a resource intended to illustrate, via case studies, some of the significant accomplishments achieved by the seven EBDM (Phase II/III) pilot sites. They offer a retrospective account of select change targets and the key efforts undertaken by the seven original EBDM sites to achieve their goals during the early phases of the initiative. Case studies include a number of site work products and tools. It can be found in the NIC library at

Indiana University launches Phase One projects for statewide addictions initiative

Full Article

Indiana University on 02/05/2018

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University School of Nursing Dean and Distinguished Professor Robin Newhouse has announced the Phase One projects of the Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenges initiative.

As part of IU’s $50 million commitment to prevent, reduce and treat addictions in Indiana, initial pilot grants feature collaborative teams of faculty members, researchers, community organizations and cross-sector partners. Together, the projects will address all five focus areas of the statewide initiative: ground-level data collection and analysis; training and education; policy analysis and development; addictions science; and community and workforce development.

“These 16 projects collectively move us closer to achieving the goals of our overall, comprehensive plan, representing a critical first step in our statewide effort to battle this epidemic,” Newhouse said. “From expanding the state’s capacity to identify and treat addiction, to creating a much-needed statewide database on opioid use, or investigating the policy implications that shape this crisis, these projects will help us make meaningful progress on behalf of Hoosier families and communities across our state.”

In partnership with community hospital systems, public health departments, workforce development organizations, health care research institutes and other collaborators, the Phase One projects include the development of preventive assessment tools, treatment center capacity building and the creation of online education centers for health care professionals. The scope of these pilot programs demonstrates the breadth and capacity of the five-year initiative, with efforts spanning scientific research, programmatic development and implementation, and community engagement.

Youth Resources: Encouraging healthy self-esteem in young people

Full Article

Evansville Courier and Press on 2/5/2018 by Jessica Fehrenbacher, Special to the Courier & Press

Our current world allows us many opportunities to showcase ourselves and our accomplishments. Social media has made it possible to share aspects of our lives that just years ago would have never been brought to light.

As a youth worker (and a parent), we want young people to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas about themselves. We want them to have healthy self-esteem. However, in recent years with the boom of social media, there have been numerous discussions about self-esteem and narcissism.

In the article, “Narcissism and Self-Esteem are Very Different,” by Scott Barry Kaufman, he suggests that narcissism differs significantly from self-esteem in its development, origins, consequences and outcomes. This research leads to a better understanding of narcissism and ways to increase self-esteem.

To start, the origins of both narcissism and self-esteem start to present around age seven. Children start to look at themselves as they perceive they are seen by others. Self-esteem is usually lowest during adolescence and increases as the years go on. Narcissism tends to peak during adolescence and then decrease into adulthood.

Parenting styles influence self-esteem and narcissism. Narcissism tends to go hand in hand with parental overvaluation. These parents tend to overpraise their child’s performances, overestimate their IQ and over claim the knowledge they possess. As time goes on, the child can internalize this self-view, which can unconsciously steer the child’s interaction with others.

On the other side, high self-esteem develops together with parental warmth. These parents tend to treat their children with affection, appreciation and fondness. This type of parent has the child internalizing the message that they are valuable individuals.

“It’s very clear from this analysis that narcissists are much more driven to get ahead than get along,” Kaufman states. “Narcissism is associated with the need to dominate other and the need to achieve superior resources. In contrast, high self-esteem is much more associated with the desire to establish deep, intimate relationships with others.”

It is important that young people feel valued and appreciated. However, we need to pay special attention that we don’t overpraise or overvalue the actual accomplishments they are making.

This needs to be done in such a way that the young people feel happy with themselves but they don’t see themselves as better than others. Healthy self-esteem allows a young person to grow and flourish as an adult that will lead to healthy habits and outcomes throughout their lives.

Jessica Fehrenbacher is the Make a Difference Grant Program Manager at Youth Resources of Southwestern Indiana. Since 1987, Youth Resources has engaged over 145,000 youth in leadership development and community service through its youth-led TEENPOWER, Teen Advisory Council, Teen Court and Make A Difference Grant Programs. For more information, please call (812) 421-0030 or visit

Lafayette Police Asking for Public’s Help Locating Missing Woman

Full Article

Fox News on 2/6/18

Update 2/12/18: Alicia has been found safe.

LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Lafayette Police Department is asking for the public’s help with locating a missing woman. Alicia Casillas-Faulkner was last seen in the area of Cambridge Estate Apartments in the 3600 block of St Rd 38 E, during the morning of Monday January 29.

She is 25-years-old, 5 feet 7 inches tall, and weighs 120 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes.

She is possibly in the company of Eric Richardson. Richardson is 45-years-old, 6 feet 3 inches tall, approximately 240 pounds, with a bald or balding head and brown eyes. He is believed to be homeless and living in Lafayette.

If anyone has any information about either person’s whereabouts please contact the Lafayette Police Department at 765-807-1200 or through the WeTip Hotline at 800-78-CRIME.

Corrections board approves merger

Full Article

Kokomo Perspective on January 29, 2018 by Devin Zimmerman

Probation, corrections merger hoped to help with caseload overload

Big changes are in the works for the local judicial system.

Last week the Howard County Community Corrections Advisory Board unanimously approved an agreement aimed at merging the local probation and community corrections department. With the probation department bogged down by high caseloads, officials hope the move will streamline services and maximize grant opportunities.

“This is a huge undertaking, but as I see it, it is our best bet to be able to best supervise individuals that are within our system in Howard County,” said Doug Tate, the board’s chair and judge of Howard County Superior Court III.

Walmart offers free opioid disposal product.

Full Article on 1-17-18

Walmart will offer a drug disposal product — for free — to pharmacy customers as part of an effort to combat the nation’s opioid abuse epidemic, the retail giant said Wednesday.

The product, a powder called DisposeRX, is meant to be used by customers who no longer need their prescription painkillers or are concerned that someone else might take their pills.

With two inmates, Howard Co. work release center up and running

Full Article

Kokomo Tribune on January 25, 2018 by George Myers

The Howard County work release center has accepted its first two inmates, bringing an end to months of anticipation and speculation about the much-debated program.

The center, housed in the former county jail on Berkley Road, received its first inmate Wednesday and its second Thursday, and has already displayed, in a small way, the effect it could have on the Howard County jail’s issue of overpopulation.

The first inmate, said Howard Superior Court 3 Judge Doug Tate, was facing mandatory time for multiple OWIs. But instead of sending him to the jail, Tate chose to sentence the inmate to work release, in part so he could keep his job.

The second inmate was transferred directly from the jail.

In coming months, the work release center will accept a mix of inmates either sentenced to the program, transferred from the county jail or sent to Howard County from the Indiana Department of Correction “to transition back into the community,” said Commissioner Paul Wyman.

Wyman said both current inmates already have jobs.

Overall, the program will start as male-only, operating with 80 beds. Up to 40 inmates from the DOC could be accepted; the DOC will pay the county roughly $40 per day, per inmate to house them.

Unintended consequences: Investigation reveals why drug court enrollment is declining

Full Article

Deseret News on 12/17/2017 by Gillian Friedman

Editor’s note: The illicit drug trade is undergoing a seismic shift, with Utah in the middle of the deadly impact of opioids. This is another in an ongoing series of stories about this modern-day plague.

SALT LAKE CITY — In November, when President Trump’s bipartisan commission on the opioid crisis issued its report, it recommended 54 solutions but put particular emphasis on two things: expanding access to medicine that helps addicts and creating more drug courts.

First introduced in 1989, drug courts are widely considered one of the nation’s most successful approaches to helping addicts get clean and stay out of jail. Utah’s drug courts have long been heralded as a national model.

But despite the program’s effectiveness, in Utah, the number of addicts participating in drug court fell by 10 percent between 2015 and 2017, according to the state’s Department of Human Services’ Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health.

A Deseret News review of drug courts in all 50 states has revealed that Utah is not alone. Although the number of drug court programs across the country is on the rise, the enrollment of addicts in some states has fallen.

This is happening at a time when the nation’s opioid crisis is reaching pandemic levels. Last year, 64,000 people died from opioid overdoses in the United States — that’s more than the number of American lives lost in the entirety of the Vietnam War.

In the state of Washington’s King County, drug court enrollment has decreased by 34 percent since 2008 – from 456 to an average of 300 active cases, says Mary Taylor, King County Drug Diversion Court coordinator.

Participation in California’s drug court program has plummeted by as much as 50 percent since 2014, according to Mike Hestrin, Riverside County district attorney.

The drop in enrollment in drug courts is an unforeseen consequence of a well-intentioned effort to tackle the nation’s exploding opioid crisis: lighter sentences for drug offenders. Continue reading →

Holcomb extends CBD oil order through legislative session

Full Article

Indiana Lawyer on 1/26/2018 by Rob Burgess

Gov. Eric Holcomb on Friday extended the moratorium on seizures of CBD oil from retailers’ shelves — as well Indiana State Excise Police’s education period on products derived from cannabis — while lawmakers consider bills regulating those products.

“I said back in November that I was open to extending the education period on CBD oil products to give legislators the time they need to add clarity to Indiana law,” Holcomb said. “Lawmakers have indicated they would like more time to consider proposed legislation. For that reason, I am extending the education period for CBD oil products and the moratorium on issuing citations or removing products from retailers until the legislative session concludes.”

CBD oil, or cannabidiol, is derived from the cannabis plant and contains very little to no tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. Proponents argue CBD oil is effective as a treatment for many ailments, including neuropsychiatric disorders.

Attorney General Cutis Hill released an official opinion Nov. 21 advising Indiana residents that unless they are registered on the Indiana State Department of Health Cannabidiol Registry, use of CBD oil can still result in prosecution.

Hill’s office declined to comment on Holcomb’s announcement Friday.

The state’s legislative and regulatory history with CBD oil has been active, and this legislative session is no exception.

Senate Bill 357 removed industrial hemp products from the state’s controlled substance schedule when it became law in 2014.

House Enrolled Act 1148 approved CBD oil for use with adult or juvenile treatment-resistant epilepsy and was signed by Holcomb in April 2017.

The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council publicly issued a letter in early November condemning any cannabis legalization efforts “in any form, for any purpose.” Holcomb subsequently announced that stores in the state had 60 days to remove CBD oil from their shelves.

Meanwhile, the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee this week passed Senate Bill 52, which would allow any person to purchase CBD oil without a prescription or medical reason, if the oil contains no more than 0.3 percent THC. Purchasers would not have to put their names on a registry, but all CBD oil containers would have to be labeled and certified as having no more than 0.3 percent THC. An additional amendment would provide immunity to state contractor employees who test positively during a drug test, but have legally purchased the oil. The bill now heads to full Senate floor.

Another piece of legislation also filed by Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, Senate Bill 294, would allow patients on a state registry to purchase CBD oil to treat certain cases of epilepsy if they can prove their presence on the registry. The committee heard testimony on this bill, but has yet to vote on it.

Multiple other CBD oil bills were filed in the legislature this session, none of which have been scheduled for committee hearings.

With years of combined experience, sheriff hopefuls outline visions for office

Full Article

Greenfield County Reporter on 1-25-2018 by Samm Quinn

Republican sheriff candidate Wayne Addison talks during the Hancock County Young Republicans meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018.

GREENFIELD — Area residents packed the county courthouse annex Wednesday to hear from candidates in one of the most hotly contested races this election season.

The Hancock County Young Republicans conducted a special forum Wednesday night, inviting the public to hear from the Republican candidates running in May’s primary for sheriff.

No Democrats have announced campaigns for the position.

The race is likely to be one of the most popular races this election season, so the Young Republicans wanted to get the contenders in front of the public early, said Holly Gillham, president of the organization.

The four candidates — Wayne Addison, Brad Burkhart, Donnie Munden and Donnie Smith — have a lot in common, including a combined 100-plus years’ experience in law enforcement among them.

They’ve served in the county jail and on road patrol and have a passion for helping people and improving their community.

But on Wednesday night, they tried to highlight the strengths that set them apart from their challengers ahead of the May 8 election.

With all the law enforcement officers in the room, Gillham joked the annex was likely the safest place in Hancock County on Wednesday evening.

Here’s a look at the candidates.

Wayne Addison

Addison, a lifelong Hancock County resident, has known since 1966 he wanted to serve his community as sheriff, he told the crowd.

A Greenfield-Central graduate, Addison graduated from Ball State University with degrees in criminal justice and corrections and telecommunications — at one time, he thought he might write movies about police.

He retired last September after serving the county for 35 years as the chief probation officer, but he’s spent time patrolling Hancock County roads, too.

He was hired by former Sheriff Malcolm Grass as a reserve deputy in 1981 and served as one until 2010. For 10 years, he was commander of the reserve division, he said.

As chief probation officer, he’s overseen a more than $1 million budget and cut back spending while implementing new programs to address some of the problems plaguing probation clients.

He hired counselors to the department, wanting experts who could help offenders facing mental health issues and addiction. Those staff members also serve as probation officers, saving the county some funding, Addison said.

Last year, he retired from his post to pursue his lifelong dream of being sheriff.

“I wanted this so much, I thought it was time,” Addison said. “My hair is getting grey. … I figured it’s now or never.”

Brad Burkhart

Brad Burkhart began his presentation by holding up the very first uniform he wore as an explorer with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department.

He was a high-schooler when he went through the youth program — and admittedly, skinnier back then, he joked. More than 30 years later, he’s served in just about every role the department offers.

Burkhart joined the department in 1988 as a jail officer, moving up the ranks ever since.

He spent 16 years as a road deputy before moving to the investigations unit as a detective and eventually into the administration wing. He’s also served on the department’s SWAT team and underwater search and rescue dive team.

For the past seven years, Burkhart has served as Sheriff Mike Shepherd’s chief deputy, overseeing the department’s approximately $6 million budget.

In that time, he’s helped implement the department’s first employee assistance program to support the department’s employees through personal issues that might affect their work. He’s one of the founders of the county’s underage drinking task force, which patrols underage drinking parties, and helped beef up security at the county courthouse the past few years.

He’s not running for sheriff because he wants to get involved in politics, he said.

Burkhart said he wants to be sheriff to make Hancock County a better place, to protect his neighbors.

Donnie Munden

Donnie Munden’s career path mirrors Burkhart’s.

He started his tenure with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department as an explorer. He served for four years as former Sheriff Bud Gray’s chief deputy. He’s been on the SWAT team, worked in the jail and patrolled the county’s roads.

Rather than spending his time highlighting his achievements, Munden talked about the changes he’d bring to the department at its helm.

A top priority is ensuring the department continues to operate in a fiscally responsible manner, he said.

He also wants to expand neighborhood watch programs to protect county residents and give them an opportunity to build relationships with law enforcement while having a hand in keeping their homes safe. He’d also like to expand the program to include businesses, he said.

If elected, he’ll implement an performance evaluation system to mentor and shape young deputies so they’re ready to serve as the department’s next generation of leaders, he said.

He joked he was born in 1966 — the year Addison said he realized he wanted to be sheriff — so he wasn’t quite thinking of the role then.

“My intent to serve as your sheriff is to help maintain Hancock County as a safe place to live, work and raise your family,” he said.

Donnie Smith

Donnie “Smitty” Smith grew up on the east side of Indianapolis and graduated from Lawrence Central.

He wasn’t born and raised in Hancock County, but he’s as dedicated to the community as the other candidates, he said.

He began his public service career as a correctional officer at the Indiana Boys’ School in Plainfield in 1987.

Later that year, he joined the Cumberland Police Department as a reserve officer, working at the boys’ school during the day and serving Cumberland residents in the evening.

A few years later, he was hired at the sheriff’s department, where he has worked the past 27 years.

Smith serves as a road deputy on the day shift and said he enjoys being the boots on the ground, one of the officers in regular contact with residents.

He told the crowd he’s proud of having overseen the department’s firearms training, he told the supporters gathered. He’s also served as a K-9 officer.

Smith said while it’s important for the sheriff to serve and protect Hancock County citizens, the department’s leader also needs to look out for the employees.

“I think that gets lost sometimes,” he said.

If elected, Smith said he’d put more resources into patrolling Hancock County roads, ensuring the deputies are seen and visible in the community.

All four candidates announced their campaigns last year. The filing deadline to run for office in the May primary is Feb. 9.



Opioid Epidemic: 10 Indiana cities suing pharmaceutical companies

Full Article

Indy Star on 1/8/2018 by Ryan Martin

Noblesville was among several Indiana cities and counties to legally confront opioid companies this week, joining the likes of Indianapolis, Bloomington, Lafayette and others that already have filed lawsuits or announced intentions to do so.

The rush of new suits came from Greenwood, Fort Wayne, Muncie, Kokomo, Terre Haute, Atlanta, Jennings County and Vigo County.

But the filings won’t stop there. Two attorneys representing many of those cities — Chou-il Lee and Manuel Herceg of Taft Stettinius & Hollister in Indianapolis — said Westfield, Jeffersonville, New Albany, Jackson County and Chandler will be filing suits, too.

According to the Noblesville suit, opioid manufacturers “aggressively pushed highly addictive, dangerous opioids, falsely representing to doctors that patients would only rarely succumb to drug addiction.”

Opioid distributors, according to the suit, “intentionally and/or unlawfully breached their legal duties under federal and state law to monitor, detect, investigate, refuse and report suspicious orders of prescription opiates.”

As a result, Noblesville said it has sustained numerous economic damages, including costs tied to overdoses, law enforcement, and treatment of babies born with opioid-related medical conditions.

The city is seeking damages that would pay for the “past and future costs to abate the ongoing public nuisance caused by the opioid epidemic.”

“The city of Noblesville has joined other Hoosier cities to hold the manufacturers and distributors of highly addictive opioids responsible for the crisis that our public safety departments are struggling to cope with,” said Robert Herrington, city spokesman, in a statement. “Noblesville has filed a federal lawsuit — at no cost to taxpayers — to seek damages that would pay for the rising costs of battling the opioid epidemic that is now the leading cause of death for people under the age of 50.”

In Hamilton County, the rate of non-fatal emergency room visits caused by opioid overdoses nearly doubled over 2011-15, according to the suit. And in 2014-15, the rate of chronic hepatitis C cases jumped by more than 35 percent.

“This incredible harm to not just the victims of opioid addiction, but the communities in which those individuals live, stems directly from the defendants’ intentional choice to pump opioids into” the Noblesville community, the suit says.

Pharmaceutical companies Purdue Pharma, Teva, Janssen, Endo and Mallinckrodt were among the named defendants in the lawsuit. The named drug distributors included AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson Corp.

Companies denied wrongdoing in written statements released to IndyStar shortly after some of the earlier lawsuits were filed.

“We are deeply troubled by the opioid crisis, and we are dedicated to being part of the solution,” Purdue Pharma said. “We vigorously deny these allegations and look forward to the opportunity to present our defense.”

Healthcare Distribution Alliance, which represents the three distribution companies, said distributors are not to blame.

“We don’t make medicines, market medicines, prescribe medicines or dispense them to consumers,” Senior Vice President John Parker said. “Given our role, the idea that distributors are solely responsible for the number of opioid prescriptions written defies common sense and lacks understanding of how the pharmaceutical supply chain actually works and how it is regulated.”

Most of the new suits share the same attorneys and were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Fort Wayne’s suit was filed in federal court in Northern Indiana.

Four of the lawsuits — Fort Wayne, Atlanta, Muncie and Terre Haute — name only the three distributors.

Lee and Herceg, the attorneys, said they expect some of these suits to eventually include manufacturers, too.

Indianapolis’ lawsuit, filed Nov. 14, targeted the same companies named by Noblesville. Indianapolis and Jennings County are represented by the same attorney, according to court records.

Home detention matters

Full Article

Legislative Update Published by the Indiana Office of Court Services on 1/12/2018 by Court Services

The Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard HB 1034 authored by Rep. Lehman on home detention matters. The bill eliminates the requirement that a period of home detention ordered as a condition of probation must be at least 60 days. Adds to the list of activities that a home detention offender may engage in outside the home any activity approved by the court. Requires an offender to maintain a working telephone, which may be a cellular telephone, or other wireless or cellular communications device, in the offender’s home while on home detention.

No testimony was heard on the bill. The bill passed 10-0.

Read the bill at:

‘We feel like our system was hijacked’: DEA agents say a huge opioid case ended in a whimper

Full Article

The Washington Post via MSN News on 12/17/2017 by Leonard Bernstein, Scott Higham

After two years of painstaking investigation, David Schiller and the rest of the Drug Enforcement Administration team he supervised were ready to move on the biggest opioid distribution case in U.S. history.

The team, based out of the DEA’s Denver field division, had been examining the operations of the nation’s largest drug company, McKesson Corp. By 2014, investigators said they could show that the company had failed to report suspicious orders involving millions of highly addictive painkillers sent to drugstores from Sacramento, Calif., to Lakeland, Fla. Some of those went to corrupt pharmacies that supplied drug rings.

The investigators were ready to come down hard on the fifth-largest public corporation in America, according to a joint investigation by The Washington Post and “60 Minutes.”

The DEA team — nine field divisions working with 12 U.S. attorney’s offices across 11 states — wanted to revoke registrations to distribute controlled substances at some of McKesson’s 30 drug warehouses.

Schiller and members of his team wanted to fine the company more than $1 billion. More than anything else, they wanted to bring the first-ever criminal case against a drug distribution company, maybe even walk an executive in handcuffs out of McKesson’s towering San Francisco headquarters to send a message to the rest of the industry.

This is the best case we’ve ever had against a major distributor in the history of the Drug Enforcement Administration,” said Schiller, who recently retired as assistant special agent in charge of DEA’s Denver field division after a 30-year career with the agency. “I said, ‘How do we not go after the number one organization?’ ”

But it didn’t work out that way. Continue reading →

Bangert: As DCS roils in Indy, local advocates for neglected kids ‘soldier on’

Full Article

Journal & Carrier on 01/06/2018 by Dave Bangert

LAFAYETTE, Ind. – By all accounts, it was just a normal day Wednesday in the fourth-floor courtroom of Tippecanoe Superior 3, where the county’s child neglect cases are heard.

Sixty miles to the south, Indiana House and Senate leaders were gaveling in the 2018 General Assembly session Wednesday afternoon with a vow that they weren’t going to get caught up this session with a crisis brewing in Indiana’s child neglect and welfare system.

What they’d read and heard since the December resignation letter from Mary Beth Bonaventura surfaced – specifically the former Department of Child Services director’s claim that cuts under Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration “all but ensure children will die” – wasn’t enough for the legislature to jump in right away.

Or, maybe it was too big for one 10-week legislative session.

“The same stories that we all heard from case workers in the past, I’m still hearing,” Sen. David Long, the Senate president, said. “It’s not Gov. Holcomb’s fault – it’s a systemic issue.”

Business as usual, in other words.

Appellate Court Affirms Battery Conviction, Probation Condition

Full Article on 01-09-18 by Olivia Covington

The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a man’s battery conviction and probationary prohibition on possession of a firearm, finding the trial court did not err in the process of hearing testimony and imposing a sentence.

In Robert Wilder v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1706-CR-1420, Robert Wilder operated a food truck next to an Indianapolis restaurant known as The Tailgate, owned by Dennis Turpen. One day, Turpen was parked behind his restaurant to unload supplies, creating what Wilder believed to be an obstruction that would prevent his son from driving through a nearby alley.

When Turpen refused Wilder’s command to move his vehicle, Wilder became angry and began a physical altercation that ended with Wilder tackling Turpen and banging his face onto the ground. Wilder fled the scene, but both Turpen and William Camp, a witness, called 911.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Detective Kevin Duley interviewed Wilder and Camp and eventually submitted the case for prosecution. Wilder was charged with Class A misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury, but argued the police had botched the investigation by failing to interview him or his son.

Duley, however, testified for the state that he believed there was sufficient evidence the battery had occurred as Turpen and Camp described it, considering Camp “did not have a dog in the fight.” Wilder was then found guilty as charged and was sentenced to probation. The court also imposed, over Wilder’s objection, a probation condition that prohibited him from possessing a firearm during his one-year probationary period.

Wilder then appealed, arguing first that the Marion Superior Court committed fundamental error by failing to sua sponte exclude Duley’s testimony under Rule of Evidence 704(b). But the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected that argument Tuesday, with Judge Mark Bailey writing that even if Duley’s testimony was an improper legal conclusion, it was admissible because Wilder “opened the door” to that testimony when he challenged the sufficiency of the police investigation.

The appellate court also rejected Wilder’s challenge of the probationary condition prohibiting him from using a firearm, finding the condition did not violate his rights under the Second Amendment or Article 1, Section 32 of the Indiana Constitution. That’s because Wilder’s actions showed a propensity toward violence, the court said, so the state’s goal of preventing him from committing more violence while on probation was furthered by the probation condition.

“Furthermore, the probation officer/probationer relationship is one that can become fraught with tension, as the probation officer has the power to regular the probationer’s behavior in ways that may be unwelcome and the power to seek a revocation of probation that could result in incarceration,” Bailey wrote. “…Decreasing the risk that officers will encounter violent, armed probationers is a significant and legitimate law enforcement need.”