Legislative Updates 2021

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First of the bills for the 2021 session

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POPAI on 1/6/2021

The following is a brief summary of the bills POPAI is tracking for our membership.  If you have any questions or concerns about pending legislation, please contact a member of the POPAI Board.

For the current status and full text of each bill please go to: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2021/bills/.

This page was last updated on 1-7-2021 at 1:30 p.m. Updates will continue throughout the legislative session. Please consider bookmarking the POPAI 2021 Legislative Page.

APPA’s 2021 Winter Virtual Training Institute: Free Registration Drawing for POPAI Members

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on 11/23/2020 by POPAI

As an affiliate member of the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA), POPAI is excited to announce that we are sponsoring some of our members to attend APPA’s Virtual Training Institute for FREE!!!  The total number of POPAI members we’ll sponsor depends on the number of entries we receive.

APPA’s 2021 Winter Training Institute will be held virtually starting Monday, February 22nd through February 26th, 2021.  The current schedule and list of workshops is not available yet, but it will be posted on APPA’s website soon.

Free registration to attend the 2021 Winter Training Institute will be provided to several POPAI members!  Click here to enter: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/POPAI-APPA2021WINTER.

By entering your name in the random drawing you agree that:

  1. You are a POPAI member in good standing.
  2. You will pay or you have already paid your 2021 membership dues.
  3. You have permission from your supervisor and will attend APPA’s 2021 Winter Virtual Training Institute held February 22-26, 2021.

Entries must be received by Friday, January 22, 2021 at 12:00 PM EST using the link above. All randomly drawn winners will be notified via email around February 1, 2021.

Contact any POPAI Board Member with questions or to thank them for providing another cool membership perk!  Good luck!

2020 ‘exacerbated all of the issues’ driving record drug abuse in America

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Yahoo Finance on 12/30/2020 by Adriana Belmonte

The coronavirus pandemic has had devastating mental health effects on Americans, and drug abuse is hitting record levels.

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that over 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the U.S. in the 12-month period ending in May 2020. That’s the highest number ever recorded by the CDC.

“This pandemic and all that’s come along with it has really just exacerbated those vulnerabilities and the shortcomings of our own approach to treating those people,” Dr. Ryan Marino, a medical toxicologist and emergency physician based out of Ohio, told Yahoo Finance.

In San Francisco, the number of overdose deaths (621) outpaced COVID-related deaths (173) in 2020.

‘Relapsing Left and Right’: Trying to Overcome Addiction in a Pandemic

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New York Times on 1/4/2021 by Emma Goldberg

Jackie Ré, who runs a substance-use disorder facility in New Jersey, gathered the 12 female residents of her center in the living room on March 27 and told them that the coronavirus outbreak had forced the center to limit contact with the outside world.

There was an immediate outcry: The women already felt disconnected and didn’t want their sense of isolation exacerbated, Ms. Ré said.

Within the next six months, nine left the program at Haley House in Blairstown against staff advice, and all but one relapsed.

“It’s been a nightmare,” Ms. Ré said. “For one woman it was a matter of days, another less than a week. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Corrections Tech 2020, a whitepaper from IJIS

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The Integrated Justice Information Systems (IJIS) Institute

The Corrections Tech 2020 white paper (link downloads a pdf document), developed by the Corrections Advisory Committee, is a survey of technological trends, current and potential, which are likely to impact the corrections environment in the next 3-5 years. The aim is to provide a ‘one-stop’ high-level overview for the leadership of correctional agencies and their information technology (IT) organizations, to help understand how these capabilities are evolving, and anticipate where technology may be applied to address current and future business problems.

View this and other white papers of interest at https://www.ijis.org/page/Reference_Papers

Why younger workers are more likely to struggle with working from home

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Indy Star on 1/5/2020 by Alexandria Burris

Casey Cawthon, 32, of Fishers was doing OK when she started working from home in March due to the pandemic.

She was productive, enjoyed the flexibility of working from home, developed a routine and was spending more time with her 15-year-old son, Caiden. It just felt like working from home for the day or like working from a client office versus the agency office,” she said.

But as the days wore on, Cawthon, a public relations director at Well Done Marketing, began to struggle. “It felt like there was no end in sight,” she said.

The stimulus bill includes a bump in SNAP benefits. Here’s what that means for Hoosiers.

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Indy Star on 1/5/2020 by Holly V. Hays

The federal stimulus bill signed by President Donald Trump includes additional funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that will provide a temporary boost for families struggling with food insecurity.

Beginning Jan. 1 and running through the end of June, those receiving SNAP benefits will see an increase of 15% in the maximum amount they can receive.

One local advocate said this increase will help more Hoosiers, including those who were left behind by previous measures.

Overdose Deaths Hit New Highs As Pandemic Worsens Opioid Crisis

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WFPL News Louisville on 12/23/2020

New federal data shows the coronavirus pandemic has contributed to the country’s deadliest 12-month period for drug overdose fatalities, including a sharp increase in overdose deaths in the Ohio Valley.

According to the latest data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 81,000 people died due to drug overdoses in the 12 months from May 2019 through May 2020 — the largest number of overdose deaths recorded in a year —  forcing the federal agency to issue a health advisory making recommendations to tackle this spike in deaths.

In the Ohio Valley, West Virginia and Kentucky each reported a 22% jump in overdose deaths compared to the same period a year earlier, while Ohio recorded a 13% rise.

State of Judiciary to be written and remote report

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Indiana Supreme Court on 01/12/2021 by Indiana Supreme Court

A written report on the Indiana State of the Judiciary will be made available prior to the close of the legislative session at courts.in.gov. Chief Justice Loretta Rush said, “I will provide a formal update on the work of the judicial branch through a written report and a remote message. Even in these challenging times there are success stories I am eager to share as courts across the state are resolving cases.”

Pursuant to Article 7, Section 3, of the Indiana Constitution, the Chief Justice submits regular reports to the General Assembly on the “condition of the courts.” Traditionally, the Chief Justice has made an annual address to the Governor along with House and Senate members in a joint session of the General Assembly. The in-person audience also includes over one hundred trial and appellate court judges from across the state, prosecutors, public defenders, clerks, law school deans, pro bono and bar association leaders, and other judicial branch stakeholders. This year, Chief Justice Rush will not ask guests to attend an in-person event. Instead, she will provide an update on the courts through a published online report and video message.

‘Healing together’: Looking for solutions after Indianapolis’ most violent year yet

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Indy Star on 1/5/2021 by Elizabeth DePompei

Gun Violence Surged in 2020

The teenagers who attend VOICES in Fountain Square don’t need to read the headlines about Indianapolis’ latest homicide.

Many of them live those stories, whether it’s losing a friend to violence or living in a neighborhood riddled with it. In the most devastating scenario, they become the statistic.

“I’m always holding my breath,” Kia Wright, founder of the youth-focused outreach group, said about the regular reports of violence. “Because I don’t know if it’s going to be one of our students.”

President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice

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Department of Justice on 12/2020

On October 28, 2019, President Donald Trump signed Executive Order No. 13896, which directed the department of Justice to establish the “Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice.” The purpose of the Commission is to conduct a modern study of the state of American policing and determine specific measures to reduce crime and promote the rule of law.

At the conclusion of this study, the Commission was instructed to issue a report with recommendations, which the Attorney General would submit to the President. Under the directive of the President’s order, I hereby present the final report of the Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice.

The Commission has worked diligently to compose a report that should have a lasting impact to improve American law enforcement for years to come. It did so, moreover, under significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these challenges, the Commission continued its work to assemble a report that reviewed a diversity of important issues that affect law enforcement and their capacity to safeguard American communities.

William P. Barr
Attorney General

Full 332 page report available for download

Human trafficking in Kentucky, Indiana is ‘bigger than people realize,’ expert says

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WHAS on 1/7/2021 by Daniel Sechtin

An expert in human trafficking intervention said the numbers reported nationally may not accurately represent the current situation.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — (If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call 1-888-373-7888 or text 233733 to get help)

January is Human Trafficking Awareness month, so we wanted to look at the state of human trafficking in Kentucky and Indiana going into 2021.

WHAS11 talked to Lindsey Stout, an intervention specialist in Indiana, to see what progress is being made and how you can help. Stout works for Middle Way House in Indiana

City seeks new approach to continuing gun violence problem in Evansville

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Courier & Press on 1/3/2021 by Brook Endale Christina Elias

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — It’s been nine years since Bridgett Tate’s son, Derrick Brian Jackson, was murdered six blocks from their home. She still calls the Evansville Police Department every week seeking answers in the unsolved homicide.

“If I didn’t stay on it, he would just be forgotten,” Tate said. “And that’s not – that was my only child. I’m only making it because I want to see my son get justice before I die.”

Her son, who went by Brian, was shot on Chandler Avenue, between Garvin and Governor streets. It’s hard to remain in Evansville, she said, especially in the same neighborhood where Brian died. But fighting to get justice for her son is the only thing that gets her up in the morning now, Tate said.

Juvenile Detention Explained

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Annie E. Casey Foundation on 11/13/2020

Every day, thousands of young people in the United States are held in juvenile detention facilities while their cases are handled in court. Despite steady declines over the past two decades, more than 15,000 young people were held in detention centers on any given night in 2017, the latest year for which federal data are available.

With so many young people moving in and out of detention centers as they await legal actions on their cases, it’s worth asking: What exactly is juvenile detention and how can being detained affect a young person?

Congratulations Dr. Edward Latessa

University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute

In July 2020, Dr. Edward Latessa retired from the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati. Although he remains the Director of the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute (UCCI), we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of his many achievements. The following was written by one of our Research Fellows who has worked with Ed for the past 25 years.

Affectionately called “Eddie” by his family, Ed Latessa was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio. Ed would often say that growing up in Youngstown made him appreciate how he could have easily ended up on the other side of the criminal justice system. Ed credits his Uncle Tom for his academic success, remarking that he would never have graduated college, much less earned a doctorate from the Ohio State University, without his involvement.

Ed left Ohio for only a short time when he worked as an Assistant Professor in the Criminal Justice Department at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. After just one year, he returned to work at the University of Cincinnati in 1980. Within five years he became the Chair of the School of Criminal Justice, a position he held for the next 35 years. The program grew in size and reputation under Ed’s leadership. For example, the criminal justice doctoral program became one of the top 3 programs in the country. At the time of his retirement, the School of Criminal Justice includes 24 award winning full-time faculty and over 40 professional staff working in the centers supported by their external funds. At every step in his career, Ed had a tremendous impact on the field of corrections. And while his publication record alone makes him a giant in the field (with over 10,000 citations!), his true legacy lasts with his commitment to correctional agencies.

2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient ~
Division of Corrections and Sentencing with ASC

Ed started his career during a time when the American correctional system moved towards a punitive philosophy. He knew that these policies were destined to fail and spent his career imploring agencies to abandon practices that were not empirically based, or what he fondly refers to as “horseshit.” His voice found traction on a national stage through his work with the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) in the late 1990s. The NIC hosted a series of trainings for correctional professionals in an effort to translate “best practices” to the field. These trainings included a number of speakers but it was Ed style and humor that made people pay attention.

A gifted public speaker, Ed spent many years traveling across the country, and eventually the world. His desire to improve the correctional system has been unwavering as continues assisting agencies with implementing best practices. Today, there are few correctional systems in this country that have not felt the direct engagement of Ed. As a result, he has been referred to as a pioneer, a founding father, and a force to be reckoned with.

Ed’s impact on the field came into full display during his recent retirement celebration. The virtual celebration, hosted by faculty from the School of Criminal Justice, included an array of speakers from agencies and universities across the country. Many of us watched with adoration as our mentor, colleague, and friend received a number of well-deserved accolades. The collaborative nature of Ed’s work was apparent as administrators and staff discussed the ways in which he impacted their agencies and careers. In reflecting on this ceremony, it is clear that Ed has had a wildly successful career. It is also clear that people appreciate Ed because of his dedication to pursuing a more just and humane criminal justice system. But perhaps what is most important, is that people appreciate and love Ed because of his authenticity. Ed genuinely cares about people and as one speaker so aptly stated “he is everything he appears to be.” Kudos to our director and all that he has accomplished!