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Sex Offender Caught Playing Pokemon Go with Teen

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Indianapolis Star on July 14, 2016 by Vic Ryckaert

INDIANAPOLIS — A sex offender is in the Hancock County Jail after police say he played Pokemon Go with a teen.

Randy Zuick, police say, violated his probation on a child molesting conviction when a law enforcement official saw him playing the augmented reality video game with a 16-year-old boy near the Hancock County Courthouse, Fox59 reported.

Task Force Created

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The Paper on July 21, 2016 by

Howard County – Indiana State Police Peru Post Commander Lt. Jeremy Kelly, Kokomo Police Chief Robert Baker, and Howard County Sheriff Steve Rogers have dedicated officers to team up with the Indiana Department of Correction Parole Division and the Howard County Probation Department. Probation and parole officers requested the three police departments dedicate resources to assist in parole and probation sweeps in Howard County.

Probation numbers causing concern among Indiana counties

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Goshen News on June 25, 2016 by MAUREEN HAYDEN Goshen News Statehouse Reporter

INDIANAPOLIS — The number of people getting probation instead of jail time is growing quickly under new sentencing rules, but communities that oversee probation programs say they don’t have enough money to handle the influx.

Last week’s arrest of a probationer from southern Indiana, whom police said was en route to a gay pride event with a cache of weapons, shows the system’s flaws, one lawmaker said this week.

Since taking effect a year ago, sentencing reform is ratcheting demand for probation services faster than it sends people into local jails or assigns them to spots in community corrections programs.

A study by the Indiana Judicial Center found that two-thirds of the lowest-level felony offenders are being put on probation, compared to 60 percent before the law went into effect.

“We were in the hole before sentencing reform was even put into place, and now the caseload numbers are just get higher,” said Linda Brady, president of the Probation Officers Professional Association of Indiana.

The trend worries people who manage probation programs — even some who supported sentencing reforms that aimed to divert people and money away from prisons and into community-based treatment and corrections programs.

“The problem is that the money never followed,” said Bloomington Police Chief Michael Diekhoff, who heads the Indiana Association of Police Chiefs.

Tension between a growing number of probationers, with too few resources to keep watch over them, came into focus this week when Rep. Ed Delaney, D-Indianapolis, called on the state to put more money into the effort.

Delaney tied the under-funded programs to the arrest of a Jeffersonville man whom California police said they caught en route to a gay-pride event just hours after the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub.

When arrested, James Wesley Howell, 20, was under a Clark County court order to forfeit all of his guns. Officials had yet to verify that he’d done so.

In an interview, Clark County chief probation officer James Hayden stopped short of blaming his department’s high caseload.

Can Indiana trade overcrowded jails for treatment reform?

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IndyStar on July 10, 2016 by Madeline Buckley and Kristine Guerra

Indiana’s sweeping criminal justice reform is 2 years old. Is it working?

Two years ago, Ashley Sorrel wore a hospital gown inside the Marion County Jail, with twigs and dirt snarled in her hair and 92 stitches stretched across her body.

Hours before, Sorrel, now 29, led Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers on a high-speed chase after she was caught stealing FedEx packages from residential porches to pay for her drug habit. Sorrel crashed, and her car caught fire. She tried to run, but police canines chased her down, and an officer deployed his Taser.

This was close to rock bottom. But it wasn’t her final criminal charge.

Sorrel quickly racked up another theft charge after she was released from jail, again to pay for drugs. A judge sentenced her to a year of home detention. Knowing she couldn’t stay clean during the sentence, Sorrel applied for a recovery program. She said the last time she got high was July 2014.

Sorrel represents the type of offender that Indiana’s new criminal justice reform seeks to help. The sweeping changes, passed in 2014, aim to make punishments more proportional to the crime by keeping nonviolent offenders out of prison. Instead, treatment programs would help defendants recover from mental health and substance abuse problems while serving their sentences in local communities.

The goal is to turn Indiana from a state that simply incarcerates to one that also rehabilitates. But is it working?

 

 

POPAI Supports Indiana Evidence-Based Decision Making (EBDM) Initiative

on July 24, 2016 by Linda Brady, POPAI President

Dear POPAI Members:

The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) has been assisting justice system professionals to implement evidence-based programs for many years.  In 2008, NIC developed the Evidence-Based Decision Making framework to describe a process and method to comprehensively implement justice system reform.  Thereafter, NIC identified and supported seven communities throughout the U.S. to pilot the framework.  Indiana’s Grant County was one of the first pilot communities for this initiative.

Evidence-Based Decision Making (EBDM) is a strategic and deliberate method of applying empirical knowledge and research-supported principles to justice system decisions made at the case, agency, and system level.  The EBDM framework posits that public safety outcomes will be improved when justice system stakeholders engage in truly collaborative partnerships, use research to guide their work, and work together to achieve safer communities, more efficient use of tax dollars, and fewer victims.

Based on the success of the original pilot communities, in 2015 NIC expanded its work to three states, including Indiana.  The NIC provided technical assistance to Indiana’s state-level policy-making team and to six (6) pilot counties in the state:  Hamilton, Jefferson, Hendricks, Bartholomew, Porter, and Tipton.

Probation is a key player in Indiana’s criminal justice system and a crucial part of the Indiana EBDM initiative.  For the past year, POPAI has been an active participant in Indiana’s state EBDM policy team.  Indiana probation departments have been active participants in the EBDM pilot counties.  The Grant County Probation Department has been a leader in implementing evidence based correctional practices and leading by example with the EBDM process.  As POPAI President, I have been fortunate to have served on the Indiana EBDM Policy Team this past year as the probation representative.

Indiana’s participation in EBDM – Phase V began in March 2015 and concluded in July 2016.  The Indiana Policy team is applying for Phase VI technical assistance from the NIC to implement state and local change targets and to expand EBDM among Indiana counties.  If awarded, Indiana will receive technical assistance from the NIC.  The application process is competitive.  POPAI was asked to submit a letter of support for Indiana’s EBDM Phase VI application.

POPAI’s inclusion in Indiana’s EBDM project will further the “justice reinvestment” activities that have been mandated by the Indiana General Assembly.  POPAI will serve as a liaison between Indiana probation officers and the state EBDM initiative, communicating with local departments to assist them in developing and implementing their own harm reduction goals.

Here are links to important EBDM documents.

POPAI Letter of Support EBDM

NIC EBDM FAQs

Please connect me if you have questions, suggestions, or feedback regarding Indiana’s EBDM initiative.

Sincerely,

Linda Brady

Reminder: Nominations for for “Founder’s Award”, “Line Probation Officer of the Year”, and “Rookie Probation Officer of the Year”

Nominations for for “Founder’s Award”, “Line Probation Officer of the Year”, and “Rookie Probation Officer of the Year” will be accepted until August 22, 2016.

The Awards will be presented during the Lunch / Business Meeting at this years POPAI Conference at the French Lick Resort in French Lick, IN.

Winners of the “Probation Line Officer of the Year” and “Rookie Probation Officer of the Year” will be presented a plaque, their 2017 POPAI Conference Registration Fees Membership Dues for 2017 paid courtesy of the POPAI Board.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact CJ Miller at cj.miller@hamiltoncounty.in.gov or 317-776-6800

Fall Conference T-shirts

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Dear POPAI Members:

We need your creative talents!  As an additional way to help celebrate our 20th anniversary conference, we are having a t-shirt design contest.  Between now and August 5th, we are accepting design ideas for  t-shirts which will be printed prior to the conference and distributed to all attendees.   For those of you who are “right brained” and creative, this is a great opportunity to show off your artistic talents and create something original and special for our organization.  As a small token of our appreciation, the winning designer will receive a free registration for the 2017 POPAI Fall Conference!

Details regarding submissions are included in this downloadable flyer.  Please do not hesitate to contact Susan Rice (765-472-3699 or email) with any questions.  We look forward to seeing your ideas!