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Sentence upheld for woman amid tooth cream drug defense

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Kokomo Tribune on 03/16/2018 by Scott L. Miley

INDIANAPOLIS — A Madison County woman who claimed that some of the illegal drugs found in her system were from an uncle’s tooth cream had her probation violation upheld Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Ashlee K. Pierce, 34, of Alexandria had appealed her two-year sentence for probation violation from Madison Circuit Court.

The case goes back to a 2009 theft case in which she received a two-year sentence that was suspended to probation. In 2013, she was charged with probation violation but given a second chance and ordered back on probation.

In July 2017, a probation officer obtained a urine sample from Pierce and it showed positive results for drugs. She said she had a prescription for methadone for an opiate addiction and Vyvanse for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. A subsequent test showed methadone, amphetamine, methamphetamine, morphine, cocaine and fentanyl were in her system.

She was charged with probation violation in part for failing to abstain from the use of illegal drugs.

During her July 31, 2017, court hearing, she said she had a prescription for methadone for her opiate addiction and should have tested for amphetamine because of the Vyvanse. She denied using the other drugs but said the methamphetamine, morphine, cocaine and fentanyl could have been in a tooth cream used by her uncle.

It might have been in her system because of her being in his house, she claimed.

However, the Madison Circuit Judge Thomas Newman found her in violation of probation and ordered her to serve the two-year sentence.

The appellate court said it would not reweigh her claims.

The state appellate court found that due process was followed by Newman. Pierce is set to be released from prison in July.

DePauw frat partners with probation departments to teach interviewing skills

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Banner Graphic on 03/05/2018 by JARED JERNAGAN

When a co-worker at Putnam County Adult Probation spoke about a problem one of her clients was facing recently, case manager Kelli Stevens had the seed of an idea.

Probation officer Malachi Taylor was meeting with a client, speaking with her about the need for a job in order to move forward for both the client and her children.

What she found was that the client was unprepared and nervous about interviewing for even a basic foodservice job.

After listening to the story, Stevens reached out to her son, Jonah Jones-Stevens, a sophomore management fellow at DePauw University.

Kelli thought that maybe Jonah could help with some interviewing and resume skills for such clients.

“I sent my son a message asking if he could help somehow with a resume and he said, ‘For sure,’” Stevens said.

As the philanthropy chairman for Beta Theta Pi, Jones-Stevens immediately saw a way for his house to make a difference in the Putnam County community. When he reached out to his fraternity brothers, the response was immediate.

“Within an hour, he had a great response,” Stevens said.

Calling the program Beta Bridge, the Betas are partnering with adult and juvenile probation, both Putnam County courts and the prosecutor’s office to help prepare for the job application and interview process.

COA upholds denial of race-based Batson challenge

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The Indiana Lawyer on March 16, 2018 by Olivia Covington

A Madison County man who alleged the state challenged a potential juror for race-based reasons has lost his appeal, with the Indiana Court of Appeals finding the record of the robbery trial does not support the argument that the juror was released because he was black.

In Steven Wade Childress v. State of Indiana, 48A02-1707-CR-1658, Steven Childress and two companions tricked Darren Sloss into coming to visit them, then attacked him at gunpoint when he arrived. Sloss was beaten and pistol-whipped, saw Childress rummaging through his car, and was eventually robbed of $200 that was in his wallet.

Sloss reported the robbery, and Childress was charged with Level 3 felony armed robbery. After voir dire, the state made a peremptory challenge to Potential Juror 8, which Childress challenged with a Batson claim on the basis that Potential Juror 8 was the only remaining black juror.

The prosecutor, however, noted that when Potential Juror 8 was asked what reasonable doubt meant, the juror responded with “no doubt.” Though Potential Juror 2 gave a similar answer and was not dismissed, that juror eventually changed her response, while Potential Juror 8 did not, the prosecutor said. The Madison Circuit Court agreed and denied the Batson challenge, and Childress was found guilty as charged.

he Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of Childress’ Batson challenge in a Friday opinion, with Judge Terry Crone initially noting the trial transcript was incomplete. Many portions of the transcript were labeled “indiscernible,” Crone said, while each juror was identified as “prospective juror,” making it impossible to determine which potential juror made which statements.

Though it was incomplete, Crone went on to write that the transcript did show that neither defense counsel nor the trial court disputed the prosecutor’s claim that Potential Juror 8 thought “reasonable doubt” meant “no doubt.” Thus, the appellate court determined Childress failed to prove the prosecutor’s alleged misrepresentation of the potential juror’s answer undermined his race-neutral reasoning for the peremptory challenge.

The court then found the prosecutor was not required to re-examine Potential Juror 8 after he gave his questionable answer. Finally, the panel determined that because Potential Juror 2 eventually changed her answer to the proper meaning of “reasonable doubt” – which Potential Juror 8 did not do – it could not be said that the challenge to Potential Juror 8 was racially motivated.

Apply for the 2018 Donald “Charley” Knepple Scholarship Award

Donald “Charley” Knepple

Submit your application to be considered for the Donald “Charley” Knepple Scholarship Award. The winner will be announced at the 2018 Annual Indiana Probation Officers Conference in May.

The qualified candidate chosen for the Scholarship Award will be awarded $2,500.00 to help pay for their costs in continuing his or her education pursing a Masters / Doctorate Degree.

Full Information including qualifications

Apply on or before April 16, 2018

Questions? Contact Bob Schuster, Chair of Awards and Recognition Committee at 219-326-6808 Ext. 2511 or your POPAI District Representative.

Members Only Content: Legislative Update

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I’ve posted the most recent report from The LegisGroup in the Members Only area (log in required).

It includes those bills you’ve been watching that remained alive into the second half of the session. With that report, you can see the point in the process at which any now-bills died.

Problems logging in? Just email me at

Karen Oeding
POPAI Website Administrator

Webb: K2 isn’t synthetic marijuana. But chemically, it’s a mystery

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Evansville Courier and Press on 03/07/2018 by Jon Webb

So many people were vomiting, and emergency responders didn’t know why.

Eight people between Second and Third avenues in Evansville were found sick, unconscious or a mix of the two last Thursday. Fearing some kind of mass overdose, the Evansville Fire Department administered Narcan, but it didn’t work.

After speaking to the victims, police and fire officials determined the likely culprit: K-2.

“We’re thinking it was the same batch or at least the same supplier,” Ron Campbell, chief of operations for the EFD, told the Courier & Press.

Opioids rightfully get most of the attention in Evansville’s battle against drug abuse, but K2, also known as Spice and several other brand names, has been a lower-level scourge in the area for years.

K2 was responsible for two deaths in Vanderburgh County last year, according to coroner Steve Lockyear. And Terrence Roach, the man accused of killing Aleah Beckerle, allegedly told police he was high on the drug when he kidnapped the disabled teen in 2016.

It’s also been blamed in several local DUI cases. And on Monday, an Evansville man was arrested and accused of manufacturing the drug after police reportedly discovered more than two pounds of the stuff inside his house.

So what is it?

Chemically, it changes constantly. But we do know what it’s not.

It’s often called “synthetic marijuana” because the two drugs share a passing resemblance. But if K2 is synthetic marijuana, then cocaine is synthetic sugar.

The two drugs have nothing in common aside from their appearance. Whereas weed gives you feelings of euphoria and makes you giggle, K2 can either transform you into a lumbering zombie or a flailing maniac.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, it can inflict users with “anxiety, agitation, nausea and vomiting, high blood pressure, shaking and seizures, hallucinations and paranoia, and they may act violently.”

Robert Glatter, an emergency room doctor in New York, told NPR in 2015 that it often takes multiple nurses and physicians to strap down overdose victims because they become “violent and very strong.” As I was writing this on Tuesday, Evansville-Vanderburgh Dispatch fielded a call about a possible K2 user screeching at customers and workers inside the North Main Street McDonald’s.

The reason the reactions vary? Because the drug does, too.

K2 is created by spraying chemicals on dried plants. Labs that have tested the compounds in K2 have found everything from bath salts to generic ecstasy. According to the NPR report, traces of opioids have been found in different batches as well.

The rotating cast of ingredients made it difficult for Indiana to outlaw synthetic drugs. Until a few years ago, you could buy the stuff at gas stations.

Appeals court: Indiana’s ‘spice’ law too vague

The 2014 law had to declare more than 80 compounds illegal in drug manufacturing, and the Indiana Court of Appeals said the legislation was too wide-reaching and confusing to enforce. After a long fight, however, the state Supreme Court eventually gave it the green light.

Some lawmakers think that’s still not enough. There’s a skinny chance manufacturers could create K2 out of a chemical not included in that Tolstoy novel of a law, state Sen. Jim Merritt told me last fall.

“All the sudden you change the molecules and it’s now legal again,” Merritt said.

That uncertainty is what makes K2 so vexing. The batch that turned part of Evansville into a three-block vomitorium was laced with some unknown chemical. Local officials will pin it down eventually, but the next batch could be different. So could the batch after that.

Marilyn Huestis, a chief researcher at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, summed it up best.

“It’s like taking a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle and throwing it up in the air and piecing it together without a picture,” she told NPR. “So here we are in the hospital or police lab, and they have no idea what to look for.”

Indiana State Police make arrest after man is stabbed while playing ‘game’ on MegaBus

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Fox 59 News on 3/7/18

SEYMOUR, Ind. – Two people were arrested after police say a man was stabbed while “playing a game” on a MegaBus traveling through Indiana.

Officers with the Seymour Police Department and Indiana State Police troopers responded to a stabbing report around 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

According to investigators, the stabbing occurred while the bus was traveling on I-65 southbound, just north of Seymour. Xavier Collins, 19, of Chicago, was transported to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour for non-life threatening injuries to his leg.

Lebria Graham, 19, of Chicago, was detained for questioning. The suspected weapon was recovered from the scene.

Detectives determined the pair was playing a “game” with a knife when Collins was stabbed in the leg. Graham was arrested on charges of criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon and battery with a deadly weapon.

Collins became uncooperative in the investigation and provided a false name to investigators. After being treated and released from the hospital, Collins was arrested on charges of obstruction of justice and false informing.

They were both transported to the Jackson County Jail.

Legislative Update: CBD oil and industrial hemp

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Indiana Courts on 3/2/2018 by Court Services

The Senate Corrections and Criminal Law heard HB 1214 sponsored by Sen. Young on CBD oil and industrial hemp. The bill repeals all provisions concerning the cannabidiol registry and a “substance containing cannabidiol” (all added by HEA 1148-2017) and legalizes CBD oil, repeals superseded provisions relating to cannabidiol registration, and establishes that there is sufficient probable cause to issue a warrant if a trained and certified narcotics detection canine lawfully indicates and detects industrial hemp or CBD oil.

The bill was amended to instead define “low THC hemp extract” as a product derived from Cannabis sativa L. that contains not more than 0.3% delta-9-THC and no other controlled substances. It also establishes requirements for the manufacture and sale of low THC hemp extract. The amended bill passed 6-2.

Read the bill at:

Supervising the DV Offender: What I’ve Learned from the Field. An Interview with Sara Mahoney

Full Article

Justice Clearinghouse on 2/1/2018 by Christina McCale

Domestic Violence offenders require a different approach to supervising them. Cunning and often manipulative, they can be among the most challenging of probationers to supervise.

Join us March 22, as Sara Mahoney returns to discuss: 

  • the tactics/characteristics of a DV Offender and a victim
  • how these characteristics impact the ongoing supervision of the offender,
  • the advantage of having a specialized caseload,
  • circumstances and factors in determining supervision level and
  • the frequency of reporting, and recommendations regarding sanctions.


Justice Clearinghouse Editors (JCH): This webinar is specifically about the Domestic Violence offender. In your experience, what makes this criminal unique?

Sara Mahoney: A domestic violence offender is dynamic; although they have certain patterns of behavior, attitudes and beliefs, their main goal is power and control. So, when a particular tactic doesn’t work or is no longer getting them what they want, they change. They can be chameleons, there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to this offender. It’s been my experience that these offenders are not only very good at leaving their victims confused and feeling that they are to blame for the way they are treated; they are also extremely adept at manipulating the system. They know how to be compliant and charming, but when challenged or confronted they can easily change that to being aggressive and threatening. Many perpetrators lack coping skills and have trauma histories of their own and these things need to be made part of their supervision. They won’t be able to acknowledge that their behavior is a choice until they can gain insight and work through the underlying beliefs that they use as their excuses.


“[Domestic Violence] offenders are not only very good at leaving their victims confused

and feeling that they are to blame for the way they are treated;

they are also extremely adept at manipulating the system.”


JCH: What are the most common myths about the DV Offender?

Sara: If you Google “myths about DV Offenders” you will get a long list of articles and publications all about this topic. Those of us that embed ourselves in these cases every day are all too familiar with common misconceptions surrounding this population.

  • Myth #1: There is no “one size fits all.” This was mentioned in the first question. Some perpetrators are not ever physical with their partners, some don’t have jealousy issues; all have a subset of “go to” behaviors that are specific to their relationships, but those behaviors are ever changing depending on the situation.


  • Myth #2: The status, or the assumption that domestic violence only affects certain populations. Domestic violence is alive and well in every neighborhood and across the globe. From the poorest of communities to the richest, this epidemic knows no bounds and does not discriminate. Financial exploitation and abuse often gets overlooked but may be an easy way for an offender to maintain control of their victim, especially if the abused partner is planning to leave or has left. Issues of alimony, support, housing and employment are a big piece of an overwhelming puzzle for a victim and a “trump card” so to speak for an offender to continue the abuse all while maintaining whatever image it is they are trying to uphold. In addition to finances, cultural or religious differences can also create a blurred line, especially for those that don’t understand the dynamics of abuse. This blurred line can be used as a justification to turn the other cheek and not address the problem.


  • Myth #3: The victims in these relationships are “weak.” Some of the strongest, most courageous people I have had the honor of knowing are the victims in these relationships. The victims make the choices they do to survive. How many of us have to go day by day, minute by minute thinking about ways to offset a potential war zone in our own homes? Many confident, independent people still end up in abusive relationships. Making the assumption that they don’t respect themselves or deserve it because they stay only serves to empower the abuser more. To allow victim blaming takes the spotlight off of the real reason for the problem-the abuser’s choices.


  • Lastly, Myth #4: “It’s a family problem.” It is society’s problem! Think of your neighborhood or the street that you live on even. The statistics say that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will be abused by an intimate partner, that domestic violence accounts for 19% of all violent crime, and that 1 in 15 children are exposed to domestic violence-with 90% being eyewitnesses to the violence! Think of those numbers and the effects these numbers have on our society as a whole. Think of the impact these statistics have on our mental health systems, medical systems, schools and the workplace. Every person in this country, in this world, are affected by the impact domestic violence has on these systems and yet it remains easier for people to “hear no evil, see no evil”. Interestingly, when people do decide to address the problem, the first question that gets asked relates to why the victim doesn’t leave, which only creates another barrier for that person. If we are going to effectively start acknowledging the violence for what it is, the questions need to lie with the abusers themselves. They are the only ones who can stop the abuse from continuing.



The Statistics: 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will be abused by an intimate partner,

domestic violence accounts for 19% of all violent crime,

1 in 15 children are exposed to domestic violence, with 90% being eyewitnesses to the violence.



JCH: What are the biggest mistakes probation or parole officers make when first starting to supervise these types of offenders?

Sara: I think when we lose sight of our main role working with any case, but especially this caseload is a major issue. As line officers, we are responsible for keeping the community (victim) safe and holding the offender accountable. If we aren’t allowed or don’t take advantage of regular specialized training about domestic violence and all of its facets, we are potentially creating more risk to the victims and ourselves. When we buy into the myths and have predisposed judgements about the offenders as well as their victims, we are creating an atmosphere of ignorance; that will not only make it easier for an offender to manipulate us, but also give the victim more reason to distrust a system that has probably blamed them and not believed them historically. We don’t want to create or uphold an environment that shuts out the victims, keeping lines of communication open can be as beneficial for them as it is to us. We can’t assume that we know more about these offenders than they do, and if we are going to accomplish victim/community safety and offender accountability we need them to feel comfortable giving us information.



How many of us have to go day by day, minute by minute

thinking about ways to offset a potential war zone in our own homes?



I also never understood the importance of motivational interviewing until I started working with this population. DV Offenders especially don’t like admitting that it was their choices that led to the position they found themselves in. They also don’t like the idea of changing because they don’t feel they need to or they don’t know how. Their perceptions of relationships and interactions with others, particularly their partners don’t often line up with what is acceptable in society. Being comfortable with the tenets of motivational interviewing will get you much farther with this population than just telling them what they have to do; that will only end up in a power struggle. These offenders often have no respect for authority and don’t think the system should get involved in their “private matters”. Getting them on board means that we have to be willing to meet them where they are to an extent and having them find the benefit of changing their behavior. Granted, not all offenders will do this and we as Officers will have to do what is best to uphold our responsibilities. I have found that for many of the offenders that I work with, they’ve never had anyone tell them or show them that they are more than the “monster” they say the system has painted them to be.



“Remember, these offenders are someone’s dad, uncle, husband or brother.”

~Jim Henderson



JCH: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received that you think could benefit others in your field?

Sara: The biggest thing that has really stayed with me I heard a year ago in a training with James Henderson. Jim and I initially met when I attended the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention’s Advanced Course in 2016. Before he became a trainer, he was a PO in Michigan who supervised DV Offenders. I found in talking with him that he and I shared a lot of the same thoughts and beliefs surrounding working with this population.

Last year, he did a training session with Casey Gwinn, Founder of Alliance For Hope and the Strangulation Training Institute. They were talking about childhood trauma, its effects and the CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. Although I had taken a certification course on Trauma-Informed Clinical Foundation and had learned a lot about trauma-informed care and its importance, I never really thought of it in terms of working with offenders; that is, until Jim said this…”Remember, these offenders are someone’s dad, uncle, husband or brother.”

It really drove home for me that just because they perpetrated in their adult life doesn’t discount that they likely have trauma from their childhood that hasn’t ever been identified, acknowledged or processed; and that there may be some of them that really do want to be a better dad, husband or man in general and if I am doing my job to the best of my ability, then I am going to do what I can to try to make that happen. When these abusers come on our caseloads, we can either look at our work with them as a catalyst to realize they are the only ones responsible for their behaviors or continue perpetuating the same cycle that only leads to more pain, trauma and death.


Click here to Register for: “Supervising the Domestic Violence Offender: What I’ve Learned from the Field.”


96% of DUI offenders wearing SCRAM device remain sober last year in Lancaster County (PA)

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Fox 43 on 2/22/2018 by Newsroom

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa.– Over 96 percent of DUI offenders in Lancaster wearing alcohol-detection devices are avoiding alcohol, according to recently-released data.

In 2017, 745 people on bail conditions or probation/parole in Lancaster County wore a SCRAM device under the county’s DUI repeat offender program.

Only 25 people violated the conditions by having a drink, according to data released by Vigilnet America, which supplies and monitors the devices.

In other words, 96.6 % of the SCRAM wearers remained sober.

Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman called it another successful year for the DROP program, which deals with a high-risk group of individuals who wear the devices.

“About three percent of the many hundreds of individuals on SCRAM last year had a drink,” District Attorney Stedman said this week. “To me, that shows the program is thriving and Lancaster County motorists are safer because of it.”

Altogether, individuals on SCRAM were sober on 99 percent of days, calculated by multiplying the total individuals who wore anklets by the number of days they wore them. In all, that accounts for 75,228 combined days – 74,709 sober days. Most violations were due to tampering with the devices, not drinking.

Repeat offenders make up about 30 percent of the entire DUI caseload in Lancaster County. Last year, about 1,558 separate DUI dockets were filed – about 100 fewer than in 2016. (Those totals do not include cases that involved attached felonies, such as homicide by vehicle.)

DROP, including the SCRAM initiative, kicked into full gear in 2015 under the leadership of District Attorney Stedman and then-President Judge Joseph Madenspacher.

Defendants are fitted with the anklet as part of bail conditions from arraignment, often within days of a charge being filed.

Lancaster County Assistant Court Administrator Dan Scarberry and his Pretrial Services staff supervise defendants wearing SCRAM anklets.

The Pretrial Services department receives morning reports from Vigilnet regarding the clients and any violations in the previous day. If there is a violation, a petition is filed with a judge within 48 hours to have the defendant’s bail revoked and a bench warrant issued. A judge then rules on ramifications.

Vigilnet recorded 2.88 million SCRAM readings last year involving Lancaster County offenders.

DROP is 100 percent defendant-paid, including the monitoring and device rental costs related to SCRAM.

SAMHSA publishes guidance on clinical best practices using medication-assisted treatment to combat the opioid epidemic

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SAMHSA on 2/15/2018

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is publishing guidance today to help broaden healthcare professionals’ understanding of medications that can be used to treat Americans with opioid use disorder (OUD).

“We know that people can and do recover from opioid use disorders when they receive appropriate treatment, and medication-assisted treatment’s success in treating opioid use disorders is well documented,” said Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use. “TIP 63 emphasizes that increasing access to medications to treat opioid use disorder will help more people recover, enabling them to improve their health, living full and productive lives.”

The Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) 63, “Medications for Opioid Use Disorder,” reviews the use of the three Food and Drug Administration-approved medications to treat opioid use disorders: methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine. Mandated by Section 303 of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (P.L. 114-198), this TIP provides guidance for healthcare professionals and addiction treatment providers on appropriate prescribing practices for these medications and effective strategies for supporting the patients utilizing medication for the treatment of OUD. TIP 63 also educates patients, families, and the general public about how OUD medications work and the benefits they offer.

As part of SAMHSA’s response to the opioid crisis, TIP 63 is a resource for health professionals throughout the country to employ in addressing crucial facets of the epidemic. Expanding access to OUD medications is an important public health strategy. The gap between the number of people who need opioid addiction treatment and the capacity to treat them with OUD medication is substantial. Improving access to treatment with OUD medications is crucial to closing the wide gap between treatment need and treatment availability – especially considering the strong evidence of effectiveness for such treatments. Data indicate that medications for OUD are both cost-effective and cost-beneficial.

TIP 63 and its sub-components are available to download and order from the SAMHSA Store at

If you or someone you know is facing addiction, SAMHSA urges you to contact our National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP or to visit our treatment locator at

For more information, contact the SAMHSA Press Office at 240-276-2130.

17 Marion County judges begin new retention process, 3 opt to retire

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The Indiana Lawyer on 2/21/2018 by Marilyn Odendahl

Marion County will start its new judicial selection process next month with the interviews of 17 judges who want to stand for retention in the November 2018 elections. Three other judges — Democrats Thomas Carroll and Rebekah Pierson-Treacy and Republican Michael Keele — have decided to retire at the end of this year.

The interviews are part of the new method Marion County is using to select judges. The Indiana General Assembly passed a bill, over much opposition, in 2017 that implemented a merit selection process for choosing judges in the state’s most populous county. House Enrolled Act 1036 established a 14-member Marion County Judicial Selection Committee to review candidates and incumbents and make recommendations for retention.

Chaired by Indiana Supreme Court Justice Mark Massa, the Marion County Judicial Selection Committee will interview the incumbent trial court judges in retention class I whose terms expire in 2018. (The 16 judges whose terms expire in 2020 are part of retention class II.) The interviews, which are open to the public, will be March 12 and 13 in room 319 of the Indiana Statehouse.

At the end of the process, the committee will announce its findings as to whether a judge is qualified to continue to serve. All 17 judges will then appear on the November 2018 ballot for voters to determine if they will stay on the bench for another term.

Judges seeking retention are: Lisa Borges, Linda Brown, Sheila Carlisle, John MT Chavis II, Steven Eichholtz, Alicia Gooden, Clayton Graham, John Hanley, Grant Hawkins, Amy Jones, James Joven, Helen Marchal, William Nelson, Clark Rogers, Jose Salinas, Mark Stoner and Heather Welch.  The commission’s interview schedule can be found here.

Carroll, Pierson-Treacy and Keele have decided not to stand for retention. Pierson-Treacy and Keele were both elected in 2000. Carroll has been a judge since 1988.

To replace them, the selection committee will take applications electronically and recommend three candidates for each of these three vacancies. As with open seats on the state appellate courts, Gov. Eric Holcomb will have 60 days to appoint the new judges from the names submitted by the committee.

The statute requires that the balance of Democrats and Republicans in the Marion County courts stay the same. So the committee will offer to the governor a total of six candidates for the Democratic seats and three names for the Republican seat.

Keele, Pierson-Treacy and Carroll all had judicial experience when they were elected to the Superior Court. Keele, a graduate of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, served in Marion County Small Claims Court. Carroll and Pierson-Treacy, both graduates of Indiana University Maurer School of Law, served as a master commissioner for the Marion Superior Court and as Marion County Municipal Court Judge respectively.

The Indianapolis Bar Association strongly recommended Keele be retained during the 2012 elections. Looking at experience, legal knowledge, efficiency and ability to be unbiased, 95.4 percent of the evaluators recommended Keele be retained. The numbers were lower for the other two with Carroll being recommended by 68.5 percent and Pierson-Treacy just 30.7 percent.

Before the 2012 election, Pierson-Treacy was admonished by the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualification for violating the rules of judicial conduct. In November 2011, the commission issued the public admonishment after Pierson-Treacy sent campaign fundraising letters that seemed to imply certain giving levels would translate into favorable court rulings.

Democratic and Republican lawmakers as well as the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus opposed HEA 1036, asserting the change to merit selection was racially biased against minorities and would deprive the voters of their right to choose. Some anticipated the new law would be challenged in court, but no lawsuits have been filed.

Previously, Marion County voters could cast their ballot for a roster of 36 judges evenly split between the Democratic and Republican parties. The former “slating” system in which judicial candidates contributed to the county party organization to gain the party’s blessing as its “slate” of candidates, was struck down in 2015 by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Under the new system, a committee will recommend both the judges to who should be retained and judicial candidates who should be appointed to the bench.

Members of the Marion County Judicial Selection Committee are: Justice Mark Massa, chair, Court of Appeals Judge Cale Bradford, vice chair, Billie Breaux, Cordelia Lewis Burks, Bryce A. Carpenter, Lee C. Christie, Susan E. Cline, K. Michael Gaerte, Rick Hurst, Katherine (Katie) F. Jackson-Lindsay, Lacy M. Johnson, Andrew J. Mallon, Adrianne L. Slash and Jennifer Thuma.

Probation and Parole

Full Article

National Institute of Corrections

Probation is a prison sentence that is suspended on the condition that the offender follow certain prescribed rules and commit no further crimes. Today, probation is a federal, state, and local activity administered by more than 2,000 separate agenices, with nearly 4 million adult offenders under supervision. (Seiter 2014)

Parole, both a procedure by which a board administratively releases inmates from prison as well as a provision for post-release supervision, comes from the French word parol, referring to “word,” as in giving one’s word of honor or promise.

The research highlighted on this page covers a range of probation and parole related, corrections topics from supervision and sanctions to special offenders and electronic monitoring. Additional resources on Evidence-Based Practices used in probation can be found here: Evidence-Based Practices.

Resource Links:

Hot Topic: What are some recidivism resources at the NIC?

Hot Topic: How can I get information on Incentives and Sanctions / Contingency Management?

Hot Topic: What information is available on adult and juvenile probation caseload size?

Hot Topic: Do you have descriptions of justice-involved mentoring programs?

IDOC Community Corrections Division 2018 Course Descriptions and Calendar

The Indiana Department of Correction has released it’s 2018 schedule. Check out these PDF documents for information:

IDOC Community Corrections Division Course Descriptions

January – June 2018 IDOC Community Corrections Division Training Calendar

For more information or to register, look on SharePoint, contact your Regional Representative or Director Shannon Bowling at

For a bit more background information, here’s last year’s announcement with information about the Community Supervision Academy and Procedural Bulletin #9.