Legislative Updates 2021

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POPAI Board Seeks Applications for Vice President due by April 30, 2021

On April 14, 2021, Adam McQueen, Assistant Chief Probation Officer of Wayne County and the President of the Probation Officers Professional Association of Indiana (POPAI), announced to the Executive Board that he is resigning as President of POPAI, effective April 14, 2021.  Adam served as POPAI’s President for the last four years.

The POPAI By-laws state, under Article VI, H. Vacancies, Section 1: Should a vacancy occur in the office of President, the Vice-President shall assume the office.

The now former POPAI Vice President Troy Hatfield assumed the office of POPAI President as of April 14, 2021. Mr. Hatfield is the Deputy Chief Probation Officer of Monroe County.

Article VI, H. Vacancies, Section 2 states that all other vacancies of the Executive Board shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining membership of the Executive Board if the vacancy occurs more than 120 days before the term of office for that position expires.  The Executive Board shall provide written notice to the membership of the vacancy and shall accept applications to fill the vacancy for no less than fifteen (15) calendar days before voting.

In accordance with the Bylaws, POPAI now seeks to fill the vacancy of Vice President. Applicants who wish to serve as POPAI Vice President must submit the completed POPAI Intent to Run form via email to Heather Malone at Heather.Malone@huntington.in.us by 12:00pm on Friday, April 30, 2021.

Bridging Disparities in Probation and Parole by Ensuring Food and Health Access

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EXiT on 4/6/2021

Join the Columbia Justice Lab and Executives Transforming Probation and Parole (EXiT) on April 14 from 2:30-4:00 p.m. EDT for a webinar about how changes to probation and parole during the COVID-19 pandemic can transform into long-term reform.

“Bridging Disparities in Probation and Parole by Ensuring Food and Health Access” is the second of two webinars in a series on COVID-19 reforms. The webinar will highlight examples of jurisdictions that have expanded community-based supports during the pandemic — to address issues of food security and health access for justice-involved people.

Hear from probation and parole professionals and government officials discussing how these “emergency” changes and innovations can inform what a post-pandemic probation and parole system could look like if it is rooted in community support. Speakers will include Stephen Cacace, Director of the NYC Probation Community Resource Unit; Jordan Stockdale, Executive Director of the Young Men’s Initiative in New York City; Liv Jenssen, Manager of Transition Services for Multnomah County Department of Community Justice; and Ederlinda Ortiz, WOC COVID-19 Quality & Compliance Coordinator – Corrections Health, Multnomah County, Oregon.

Register to attend at http://bit.ly/4-14COVIDWebinar.

Indiana gets $60.8M to support vaccines in underserved populations

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Herald Times on 4/6/2021 by Shari Rudavsky USA Today Network

Indiana will receive about $60.8 million in federal funds aimed at expanding vaccination equity, according to a news release from the Centers for Disease Control.

The funds will be used with an eye to encouraging vaccination and ensuring equity and access to vaccines for communities that COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted. The money will help programs such as door-to-door outreach to raise awareness about vaccinations or help people sign up to be vaccinated.

The money is part of a $3 billion purse distributed among 64 jurisdictions.

New study examines impact of COVID-19 on Indiana jails

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Journal Review on 4/2/2021

INDIANAPOLIS — A new study from the Center for Health and Justice Research at the IU Public Policy Institute found that changes made in 2020 due to COVID-19 reduced jail populations across Indiana may have long-term impacts on jail operations.

CHJR researchers examined jail populations in 19 Indiana counties—La Porte, St. Joseph, Starke, Pulaski, Whitley, Tippecanoe, Clinton, Montgomery, Boone, Hamilton, Putnam, Clay, Hendricks, Hancock, Knox, Jackson, Washington, Dearborn, and Perry—from February 2020 through June 2020.

The study found that jail populations in Indiana generally fell at a quicker rate and remained lower than regional and national averages yet varied widely from county to county. Overall, jail populations in Indiana fell 32% during the first part of the pandemic—compared to 27% nationally—before increasing 3% by the end of June.

A Fresh Start

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Indiana Court Times on 3/22/2021 by St. Joseph County Judge Andre Gammage

According to a database of laws compiled by the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section, “collateral consequences” all too often regulate the lives of people with criminal records, dictating where they work, where and with whom they live, and how they spend their time. As a result, after they have served their sentences, and long after they have finished probation or parole, people with misdemeanor and felony convictions remain effectively imprisoned.

In 2013, Indiana enacted an expungement statute that provided a path for eligible citizens to have convictions expunged, so long as their sentence has been completed and requisite time has passed. The statute also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person who has obtained such an expungement. However, most people in need of an expungement find the statute difficult to navigate.

My cousin (Keith Gammage), Solicitor General of Fulton County, Georgia, initiated an expungement effort and described it as an opportunity for families. I felt it was my responsibility to lead a similar initiative in my own county and bring about the opportunity intended by the statute—to allow justice to be served in an unconventional way and oblige those who could not partake in it because of their economic status.

On-Site Video Legal Services: Innovations in Lawrence Township Small Claims Court

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Indiana Court Times

Three rooms with videoconferencing tools dedicated to free legal services are available directly off of Judge Kimberly Bacon’s courtroom.

Virtual courtroom

The Technology Working Group envisioned enabling remote appearance by video during the first meeting on November 4, 2019. Judge Bacon offered to pilot a virtual courtroom—quite a novel concept in the pre-pandemic era.

Lawrence Township has several meeting rooms, stemming off of the courtroom, where opposing parties can discuss a settlement of their dispute. To accommodate one of the parties appearing by video, these meeting rooms were equipped with videoconference equipment, allowing a party on site to meet with an off-site party. This ensures that the parties can still confer and perhaps settle their case, even if one party is remote.

Even though the pandemic caused all the court’s hearings to be virtual, participants sometimes arrive for their hearing in person, either unaware that the courtroom is closed to maintain social distancing or because they are unable to connect by video from home. Many in the community do not have access to reliable broadband and may have limited minutes to use on their phone. However, the participants can attend the hearing by video from the court’s own meeting room, with socially-distanced help from court staff.

LHS Basketball Coach Steve Bradley Receives Transformation Coach Award

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WSCH

Steve Bradley

Lawrenceburg, Ind. – Steve Bradley is being recognized for his many years of contribution to the Lawrenceburg High School boys basketball program.

The Indiana Basketball Coaches Association announced Monday that four Indiana high school basketball coaches will receive Point Guard College Transformational Coach Awards.

Coach Bradley was nominated for the award by current Lawrenceburg varsity head coach Brad Cutter.

Bradley has had a major impact on the Tigers program, serving as and assistant and the freshman boys coach for 26 seasons.

““Steve’s greatest quality is that he always finds a way for every player to help the team,” said Cutter. “Steve is great at coaching each player individually and focusing on how to make it a positive experience for them. His positive approach and love for coaching our student-athletes is contagious. He is great at finding the good things from a defeat and the good things from a player who may not be able to contribute as much as another.”

Before Bradley got his start in coaching, he was an athlete himself. A 1983 graduate of Lawrenceburg, Bradley earned two letters in basketball, two letters in football, four letters in golf and one letter in baseball.

He went on to play quarterback at Davidson College, where he ranks 10th in school history for completions.

His competitive nature is something his players feel when in his presence.

“Coach Bradley has impacted multiple generations of student-athletes in our community,” said Aaron Cornett, former Lawrenceburg athlete and now a parent of current Lawrenceburg athletes. “As a 16-year-old, I noticed the intensity and competitiveness that he brought to our practices. It was easy to see how he cared for the team by pushing each player to become better through hard work and positive reinforcement.”

Aside from coaching, Bradley has spent the last 30 years working as a probation officer in Dearborn County.

Current Prescription Opioid Misuse and Suicide Risk Behaviors Among High School Students

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Pediatrics on 4/2021 by Natalie J. Wilkins, Heather Clayton, Christopher M. Jones and Melissa Brown

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: In previous studies, researchers have reported that youth with a lifetime history of prescription opioid misuse (POM) are at an increased risk for suicidal ideation, planning, and attempts. In this study, we investigate whether the association between youth POM and suicide outcomes differs by recency of POM (ie, none, past, or current misuse).

METHODS: In this report, we use data from the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey to examine associations between recency of POM (current POM, past POM, and no POM) and suicide risk behaviors among US high school students.

RESULTS: After controlling for demographics, alcohol, and other drug use, both current POM and past POM were significantly associated with all suicide risk behaviors compared with no POM. Students who reported current POM had the highest adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) for suicidal ideation (aPR: 2.30; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.97–2.69), planning (aPR: 2.33; 95% CI 1.99–2.79), attempts (aPR: 3.21; 95% CI 2.56–4.02), and feeling sad or hopeless (aPR: 1.59; 95% CI 1.37–1.84). Students who reported current POM also were significantly more likely than youth who reported past POM to report that they had seriously considered attempting suicide, made a suicide plan, and attempted suicide.

COVID-19 vaccination expands in Indiana

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Indiana State Department of Health on 03/31/2021 by Indiana State Department of Health

Anyone age 16 and older may now schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment. Click here to register or call 211 (866-211-9966) if you do not have access to a computer or need assistance.

When you enter a ZIP code to search for a vaccination site, you will find several vaccination locations near you. The site’s information will include which vaccine is likely available at the site (excludes sites in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program other than Walmart). You can click “Find Next Available” to get to the soonest date and time. Zoom out on the map to expand your search. If you don’t see the vaccination site you’re looking for, it’s possible that all appointments are full.

Please note that anyone younger than 18 must receive the Pfizer vaccine. It is the only vaccine to receive Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA for that age group. Proof of age will be required at the time of vaccination.

Received the vaccine? Make sure you sign up for the v-safe after vaccination health checker.

Study: When parole, probation officers choose empathy, returns to jail decline

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Lake County News on 3/30/2021 by Yasmin Anwar

Heavy caseloads, job stress and biases can strain relations between parole and probation officers and their clients, upping offenders’ likelihood of landing back behind bars.

On a more hopeful note, a new study from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that nonjudgmental empathy training helps court-ordered supervision officers feel more emotionally connected to their clients and, arguably, better able to deter them from criminal backsliding.

The findings, published March 29 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show, on average, a 13% decrease in recidivism among the clients of parole and probation officers who participated in the UC Berkeley empathy training experiment.

“If an officer received this empathic training, real-world behavioral outcomes changed for the people they supervised, who, in turn, were less likely to go back to jail,” said study lead and senior author Jason Okonofua, an assistant professor of psychology at UC Berkeley.

Out Of Prison But Still Trapped: Examining The ‘Afterlife’ Of Incarceration

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NPR on 3/24/2021 by Terry Gross

For people serving time in jail or prison, it may seem like punishment ends on the day of release. But in fact, thousands of restrictions dictate the terms of life after incarceration, too.

University of Chicago professor Reuben Jonathan Miller estimates that there are 45,000 “laws, policies and administrative sanctions” in the U.S. that target people with criminal records. Some ban the formerly incarcerated from serving on juries. Others prevent people with records from gaining employment.

“For example, in the state of Illinois, it took a legislative act to allow people with criminal records who were trained as barbers in U.S. jails and prisons to get their cosmetology license — and that law didn’t change until 2016,” he says.

Miller says the most insidious restrictions are those that prevent people with records from accessing homes — or that allow landlords to reject applications based on the fact that people have criminal records. He notes that the formerly incarcerated are seven times more likely to be homeless than members of the general population.

Promoting Wellness and Resiliency in Correctional Staff: 1 hr recorded webinar

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National Institute of Corrections on 2021 by Dr. Hayden Smith and Ms. Karin Ho

Do you want to see what some of the latest data and promising practices are revealing about staff wellness for corrections officers and staff? Would you like to learn how to apply a holistic approach to your workplace along the continuum of preventive to reactive responses? Correctional staff face significant stress and challenges in maintaining wellness and resiliency in the workplace. There is emerging evidence that effective strategies and programs exist; however, they often occur in a piecemeal or sporadic fashion. This webinar provides academic insight into the current research on officer wellness and references emerging areas of innovative practices. It includes practitioner expertise on valuable resources and support for correctional officers and staff. The webinar moves from preventive to reactive strategies and builds on new approaches to increase resiliency. Participants will learn what research and practice tell us about the short and long-term effects that working in corrections can have and how to promote staff wellness and manage trauma in response to what they experience.

Learning Objectives:

During this one-hour interactive webinar, participants will

  1. Develop an understanding of the current research on correctional staff wellness and resiliency,
  2. Learn how to apply a holistic approach to their workplace, and
  3. Gain knowledge on promising real-world practices that can assist and promote both wellness and resiliency.

IU study looks into how Covid-19 impacted local Indiana jails

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WSBT on 3/22/2021 by Kristin Bien

A new study found that changes made by jails in Indiana and around the country in the early days of coronavirus outbreak had an impact on inmates and staff. The study from the Center for Health and Justice Research at the IU Public Policy Institute also found that changes made in 2020 because of coronavirus could last longer than the pandemic.

The study, Effect of Covid-19 On Indiana Jail Populations & Operations, compared jail populations in 19 Indiana counties with jail populations across the country. Researchers also interviewed Sheriff’s and jail administrators about how they managed.

In the early days of the pandemic, jails around the country scrambled to make changes.

“Our staff gave it their all to make sure our staff and our inmates were safe here at the jail,” says Sheriff William Redman from St. Joseph County.

Even after nearly 30 years in law enforcement, a pandemic was like nothing St. Joseph County Sheriff Bill Redman had ever experienced.