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2014 Probation Fall training registration is now open

Author: Angie Hensley-Langrel, Program Coordinator, Indiana Judicial Center

The 2014 Probation Fall training will be held Tuesday December 16th from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm (E.S.T.) at Jonathan Byrd’s Banquet Hall, 100 Byrd Way, Greenwood.

Topics for the Meeting:
* Dosage Probation
* Fourth Amendment and Due Process Issues in Probation
* Indiana Judicial Center Updates and Discussion
-Incentives and Sanctions Project Update
-IRAS/IYAS Recertification Procedures

Lunch will be provided for those that attend the entire training. Registration can be accessed on the IJC website on the Court Services Calendar:

Please note the fall training is in place of the regional meetings.


New Bloomington mental health court starting up

Full Article

Author: AP

174197278_1409042932320_7561614_ver1.0_640_480BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A new Monroe County mental health court is aimed at keeping people mentally stable and out of trouble and the community safe, officials said.

The new court also should save tax dollars, county prosecutor Chris Gaal said at a news conference Friday.

Changes to Indiana’s criminal code encourage communities to offer treatment and rehabilitation services to low-level offenders through probation and community corrections programs, and state funding will help pay for the Monroe County pilot program, The Herald-Times reported .


Declining PERF Enrollment, A Cause For Concern?

Full Article
Author: Troy Kehoe

Pension withdrawals causing new concerns at Statehouse

A technicality in state law is permitting thousands of new Hoosier public workers to opt out of Indiana’s public pension plans, such as the Public Employee Retirement Fund [PERF], and seek alternatives in retirement planning.   This loophole has bolstered autonomy for Hoosiers who have entered the public employee workforce within the last year; however, it has also produced a plethora of unintended consequences.

Since 2013, PERF’s total enrollment has plunged 13 percent causing a $170 million deficit in promised payments –known as unfunded liabilities—for Hoosier public workers in or near retirement.   Indiana Public Retirement System Director, Steve Russo, estimates that on its current path, unfunded liabilities could balloon to as much as $512 million, effectively decimating PERF’s reserves.   The General Assembly’s Pension Management Oversight Commission is attempting to combat this shortfall by lowering the annuity rates of all public employees who retire after October 1, 2014, by as much as 20 percent.  Such a step will undoubtedly slow the bleeding, but will also likely be the first of many PERF revisions to come.

How to Turn Around Troubled Teens: Research reveals that get-tough tactics may worsen rates of juvenile delinquency

Full Article

Scientific American
Author: Scott O. Lilienfeld and Hal Arkowitz

7C4A5E0A-2AFC-477A-BBD716C2807507E1_articleMike S. (not his real name) was 13 years old when one of us (Lilienfeld) met him on an inpatient psychiatric ward, where Lilienfeld was a clinical psychology intern. Mike was articulate and charming, and he radiated warmth. Yet this initial impression belied a disturbing truth. For several years Mike had been in serious trouble at school for lying, cheating and assaulting classmates. He was verbally abusive toward his biological mother, who lived alone with him. Mike tortured and even killed cats and bragged about experiencing no guilt over these actions. He was finally brought to the hospital in the mid-1980s, after he was caught trying to con railroad workers into giving him dynamite, which he intended to use to blow up his school. According to psychiatry’s standard guidebook, theDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (now in its fifth edition), Mike’s diagnosis was conduct disorder, a condition marked by a pattern of antisocial and perhaps criminal behavior emerging in childhood or adolescence.Psychologists have long struggled with how to treat adolescents with conduct disorder, or juvenile delinquency, as the condition is sometimes called when it comes to the attention of the courts. Given that the annual number of juvenile court cases is about 1.2 million, these efforts are of great societal importance. One set of approaches involves “getting tough” with delinquents by exposing them to strict discipline and attempting to shock them out of future crime. These efforts are popular, in part because they quench the public’s understandable thirst for law and order. Yet scientific studies indicate that these interventions are ineffective and can even backfire. Better ways to turn around troubled teens involve teaching them how to engage in positive behaviors rather than punishing them for negative ones.

You’re in the Army Now
One get-tough technique is boot camp, or “shock incarceration,” a solution for troubled teens introduced in the 1980s……..

Jury finds convict guilty of stalking probation officer

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NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, Pa. — A convict found guilty of stalking his probation officer by sending her threatening emails will be spending more time behind bars.

The Morning Call reports that Clinton D. Oxford was found guilty of stalking, terroristic threats and harassment. He was immediately sentenced to five and a half to fifteen years behind bars; he will also serve an additional prison term of four to six years for violating the parole he was under when he sent the threatening emails to probation officer Jennifer Dodwell.

Dodwell supervised Oxford since 2008 on a series of criminal convictions. His parole violation was for second-offense drunken driving, under which he originally received a 90-day to five year sentence.

The threatening messages were sent to Dodwell over the month of January. He also posted her address online.

POPAI Survey Results re: Location for Annual Fall Conference

Author: Linda Brady, POPAI President

Dear POPAI Members:

POPAI has sought input from our members regarding the location of the Annual Fall Conference via Poll Questions on the POPAI website, as well as through feedback forms at all of the POPAI trainings held in 2013 and 2014.  Several POPAI members asked that POPAI investigate the possibility of holding the Annual Fall Conference in Indy or in northern Indiana.

In the past, POPAI has moved locations for the Fall Conference to Indy and northern Indiana in an attempt to get more participation from across all parts of the state.  Our registration numbers were lower in Indy and in northern Indiana.  To date, the registration numbers have shown that no matter where we hold the training, the same counties participate year after year.

Nevertheless, in order to serve ALL of our members, POPAI sought feedback from Chief POs regarding the location of our Fall Conference.  Many factors ultimately determine how many POs attend including budgets, topics, staff interest in the training/topics, etc.  We asked all Chief POs to take a brief survey and to provide an ESTIMATE of how many potential POs would attend the 2015 conference based on LOCATION.

To view results of the survey of Indiana Chief POs.  Click here   Survey re Location of Annual POPAI Conference

Indiana to Address Brain Trauma Among Released Offenders

Full Article

Public News Service Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS – Some major money is flowing into the Indiana Department of Correction to address brain trauma. The department has been awarded a $1 million federal grant to screen and provide treatment for released offenders who have traumatic brain injuries. Edinburgh Correctional Facility Superintendent Frances Osburn is leading the project and says their goal is to minimize the risk of re-offending and ultimately help lower the state’s incarceration costs. “We’re going to make them aware, because sometimes they may not even be aware that they have a brain injury and provide them with tools and treatment so they don’t come back and, ultimately, employment,” says Osburn.

Indiana committee hears alternatives for juvenile justice

Full Article
Author: AP

Leaders of a pilot program that promotes alternatives to juvenile detention in eight Indiana counties want to take the idea statewide.

Supporters of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative told a legislative panel Monday that the program creates a level playing field between minorities and whites, in addition to making juvenile justice more efficient.

The program was one of several alternatives to locking up juveniles pushed by experts who testified before the Interim Study Committee on Corrections and the Criminal Code.

Experts said using alternatives such as intervening with social workers before troubled kids turn to crime would pay off both socially and economically.

For example, supporters say the alternative initiatives program costs about $24 a day per juvenile, compared with more than $100 for detention.

Drug court graduates choose treatment over prison

Full Article

Fox 59 News
October 6, 2014
Author: Russ McQuaid

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (Oct. 6, 2014)– Nick Barnhill admitted he nearly choked up when his mother stood up in a Hamilton County courtroom and told the judge how proud she was of her son.

“Oh, I wanted to start crying. She’s proud of me. My whole family is,” said Barnhill.

Barnhill, 35, was one of two graduates honored by Judge Gail Bardach and her staff and their friends and families for successfully completing Hamilton County Drug Court treatment.

“A lot of times the person has to hit rock bottom because otherwise the program is way too difficult for them because of our requirements,” said Judge Bardach. “There’s a lot of people who qualify for drug court who choose not to be in drug court because drug court is more difficult than just spending the time in prison.”

The judge said participation is not a plea bargain to avoid prosecution, but rather an alternative to serving a sentence in jail or prison.

Millions more sought for representation of juveniles in Indiana

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The Indiana Lawyer
October 8, 2014
Author: Dave Stafford


Rising juvenilstefaniak-tom-mugwillis-mary-muge court caseloads are creating scrambles around the state to find and fund court-appointed special advocates and guardians ad litem. Millions more dollars also will be needed for public defenders who soon will be required for the first time in many more delinquency cases.

Marion Superior Juvenile Judge Marilyn Moores blames an epidemic of parental heroin use for a recent surge in child in need of services filings, compounding a chronic financial shortfall for guardians ad litem in Indianapolis.

Judges are pleading with the state to budget another $6 million to $7 million annually to address these current and future needs. But they say that won’t begin to meet the full costs, so the remainder still will have to be picked up by counties.