Legislative Updates 2021


Individual and Corporate Memberships

Corporate Members

Register for the 2021 POPAI Management Institute, Chief Orientation, and CPO Summit

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The 2021 POPAI Management Institute will be entirely virtual this year in the interest of Public Health and Safety. While we are disappointed that we will not be able to be together in person we are excited to bring you two full days of training.

  • Chief Probation Officer and Supervisor Orientation – March 17th
  • Management Institute – March 18th
  • CPO Summit – March 19th

The New Chief Probation Officer Orientation on Wednesday is a free training event for all Chief Probation Officers, Assistant Chief Probation Officers, and Supervisors.  This event is open to all at no charge. The agenda includes presentations on Probation Standards, Human Resources, Budgeting 101, and a Roundtable discussion with veteran Chief Probation Officers in the State of Indiana.

The agenda for Thursday’s Management Institute includes Implicit Bias – Dr. M. Michaux Parker, 5 Domains of Leadership – Brian Riggs, and Indiana Office of Court Services Updates – Angie Hensley Langrel

On Friday you’ll learn about Implementing Racial Justice Practices from Kristina Johnson, The Art of Supportive Leadership from David Gamow and participate in a Roundtable Discussion driven by participant questions.

New Registration Features for groups and individuals:

  • Register through Whova with a credit card.
  • Use the code “invoice” to register then receive an invoice and pay by check

Between sessions, visit our Corporate Members in virtual booths.

Register Now on Whova

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.

The Future is Now: Roadside Drug Tests in Indiana

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Indiana Court Times on 1/11/2021 by Earl G. Penrod, Senior Judge

Scenario: An Officer pulls over a vehicle for traveling 65 in a 55 mile per hour zone. The officer suspects the driver is impaired and administers field sobriety tests and a PBT, which results in a reading of .00. The officer then tells the driver that the next roadside test is an oral fluid test for drugs called SoToxa. When the driver says he has never heard of a roadside drug test, the officer replies that Indiana law enforcement now has about 70 saliva drug test instruments in the state.

Trial Court Video Streaming Initiative

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Indiana Court Times on 1/11/2021 by Mary DePrez

Article 1 of the Indiana Constitution proclaims that “all courts shall be open,” that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right to a public trial” and that victims of crime have the right to be “present during public hearings.”

How does a court accommodate the rights bestowed by our Constitution during a public health emergency?

On March 6, 2020, Governor Holcomb declared a public health emergency in Indiana by Executive Order. Because of this, many courthouses were closed to the public temporarily. Courts turned to telephonic hearings and video conferencing software.

The Indiana Office of Judicial Administration immediately recognized the need to provide courts the tools they needed to conduct remote hearings. In mid-April, the Office of Court Technology announced that it would provide each judicial officer a Zoom enterprise license. The enterprise license has increased security and technological features that make a virtual hearing easier to navigate. Instructions and guidance were developed to assist judges and their staff on how to use Zoom and webcast a live stream.

Mayor’s office releases delayed 2020 report on how to reduce violent crime in Indianapolis

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CBS4 Indy on 2/16/2021 by Russ McQuaid

INDIANAPOLIS — Mayor Joe Hogsett’s office has finally released a report it has had since last May on how to reduce violence in Indianapolis.

In late 2019 and early 2020, the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform visited Indianapolis and spoke with government and law enforcement leaders and community stakeholders to create the “Indianapolis Violence Reduction” report, which the city received last spring in the days before civil injustice protests turned violent downtown.

Since that time, Hogsett, the City-County Council and IMPD have undertaken police oversight reforms, changed the department’s use of force policy, reprioritized community crime prevention spending and beefed up the resources of the Office of Community Violence Reduction, and yet did not release the NICJR report publicly until after it was first leaked this week to the Indy Star.

The Probation Communities of Practice Project

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LinkedIn on 2/15/2021 by Aaron Burch, Communications Specialist at American Probation and Parole Association (APPA)

NADCP’s National Drug Court Institute (NDCI) has partnered with APPA to launch a ‘probation communities of practice’ project. This project is for adult drug treatment courts that wish to lead the field in applying the skills of core correctional practices and integrated case management to improve operations and enhance positive outcomes for clients. Three programs will be selected to participate in this project through a competitive application process.

Over the two-year project, selected programs will analyze operations to align with probation and integrated case management best practices. Each team will be assigned an NDCI coach to serve as its primary point of contact and who will design and deliver services, to include virtual and in-person site visits, training, technical assistance, and strategic planning. There will also be opportunities for networking with other selected sites to help each court align operations.

The deadline to apply is Monday, March 15, 2021.
Learn more and apply

Race and Equity: National and Statewide Support

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Indiana Courts on 1/12/2021 by Compiled by the Office of Communication, Education & Outreach

On June 5, 2020, Chief Justice Rush released the statement on race and equity, charging the judiciary to take action in providing equitable justice to our communities. The statement implores judicial officers to acknowledge and confront the reality that justice remains elusive for many persons of color. Chief Justice Rush emphasized five points that judicial officers should focus on to confront racial discrimination:

  • Increased implicit bias training
  • Accountability
  • Compassion for vulnerable and disadvantaged persons
  • Improving the pathway for more people of color to become judges and lawyers
  • Equitable treatment of children across the court system

Following the statement, several organizations across the spectrum of justice have demonstrated their support, both statewide and nationally.

  • On June 8, 2020, Vice-President of the National Bar Association, Nathaniel Lee, expressed his gratitude to Chief Justice Rush for her leadership and commitment to equitable justice.
  • On June 16, 2020, the New York Times acknowledged Chief Justice Rush’s statement in an opinion piece that examines state supreme court judges’ reactions to racial injustice in their respective criminal justice systems.
  • On June 26, 2020, the Indiana State Bar Association voiced its support of Chief Justice Rush’s statement and shared its commitments to stand against racism. The ISBA is currently working on an action plan to ensure meaningful impact, and to “create a safe space for its minority members that fosters an environment in which they can thrive and feel supported.”
  • In July 2020, the Indiana Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Commission announced its support, committing “to extinguish[ing] the insidious effects of racism in the legal profession.”
  • On July 30, 2020, the National Center for State Courts passed a resolution to broaden efforts to combat racial prejudice in the justice system, along with acknowledging the need to make systemic changes, in the hopes that “justice is not only fair to all but is also recognized by all to be fair.”

Indiana to get $12.5M share of national opioid settlement

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wane.com on 2/4/2021

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s attorney general says the state will receive more than $12.5 million as part of a multistate settlement with a consulting firm that worked with opioid manufacturers to promote addictive painkillers.

Attorney General Todd Rokita said Thursday that Indiana’s share of McKinsey & Company’s $573 million settlement with 47 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories will total  $12,579,158.

It’s the first multistate opioid settlement to result in a substantial payout to states.

Webinar: Trauma-informed Design: Transforming Correctional Design for Justice Reform

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Cowart Trauma Informed Partnership on 2/6/2021

The panel addressed how trauma is often a pathway to criminalized behavior, and the real consequences of the prison environment on human biology, which results in lasting impacts on offenders. Highlighting the fact that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are more at risk for experiencing multiple traumas in their lives, and have significantly higher incarceration rates, the panel recommended a restorative justice approach for the future.

States Offer Perks to Inmates who Get the Covid-19 Vaccine

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Route Fifty on 2/1/2021 by Kate Elizabeth Queram

North Carolina is the latest state to offer incentives—commissary credits, bonus visits and early release—to motivate inmates to receive vaccination shots.

Most inmates in North Carolina’s state prisons will be eligible for a sentence reduction that would shave five days off their remaining time if they opt to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, officials said Friday.

More than two-thirds of the state’s inmates qualify for the early release program. Prisoners who aren’t eligible for the sentence reduction credit would receive a $5 bonus to their canteen balance, officials said, and every inmate who receives the vaccine will also receive a free 10-minute phone call and four extra visitation sessions with friends or family members.

“We believe we’ve put together a high-impact package that is going to support the health of our offender population—and also the health of our staff and their families,” Todd Ishee, commissioner of the state’s prisons, said on a media call Friday.

‘The Internet Has Made Us Dumber,’ and Other Lessons Government Officials Learned in 2020

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Route Fifty on 1/15/2021 by Kate Elizabeth Queram

State and local officials weigh in on what they’re taking from—and leaving behind in—the dumpster fire that was last year.

The first month of a new year is typically a time of reflection and recalibration—a chance to consider what went well in the past 12 months and what could go better in the next. That tradition seems particularly poignant this January, wrapping up a historic—and, broadly, miserable—year while heading into an already-tumultuous new one. I wanted to commemorate it by doing a quick check-in with state and local government leaders across the country. I boiled it down to two simple questions: What did you learn from 2020? And what do you hope to do differently in 2021?

Beyond that, I set no rules or guidelines. Respondents were free to talk about whatever they wanted: personal or professional, serious or funny, short or long. All I asked was that they be candid and honest.

Here’s what they said.

Employers are increasing support for mental health

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American Psychological Association on 1/1/2021 by Charlotte Huff

Two-thirds of employees report that poor mental health has undercut their job performance during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 40% of employees are battling burnout, according to a survey by mental health benefits provider Lyra Health and the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions.

Employees may be working relentlessly amid economic uncertainty with few social outlets, and possibly juggling childcare to boot, eviscerating any separation between work and the rest of their life, says clinical psychologist Renee Schneider, PhD, vice president of clinical quality for Lyra Health.

Meanwhile, working from home can make it difficult for supervisors to detect emerging mental health strain, Schneider says. “When we were in the office, we would see each other every day, and we don’t have that same type of interaction now,” she says. “So sometimes employees can go for a while before the manager learns that there’s something going on.”

Vanderburgh County Health Department turns to excise police to check for COVID violations

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Evansville Courier & Press on 2/2/2021 by Thomas B. Langhorne

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — It’s the classic dilemma of law and code enforcement: Large groups of people can violate Indiana’s COVID-19 safety mandates anywhere in the state, in any rockin’ joint big enough to hold them, any time it’s open. Enforcers have to be everywhere all the time.

For those charged with enforcing the mandates, it’s a prescription for failure. Just ask the Vanderburgh County Health Department. Constrained by budget and manpower limitations, the department operates with a yawning gap in its defenses, leaving it entirely reliant on state investigators to identify large-scale violations in bars and restaurants and to collect evidence.

“Here’s the reality of this thing. We, the health department, doesn’t have any investigators,” said County Attorney David Jones. “The health department has inspectors.”

Allen Superior Court Judge Charles Pratt announces retirement

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wane.com on 2/1/2021

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Allen Superior Court Judge Charles F. Pratt, whose career in the judiciary focused on the betterment of families and children, will retire from the bench effective May 1, 2021.

Over the past two weeks, Judge Pratt informed Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush and Governor Eric Holcomb of his intent to retire. Judge Pratt’s retirement concludes a career in law – one that started and will end in Superior Court – spanning more than 40 years.

“Families are the foundation of any great community,” said Judge Pratt. “But the world is tough on families, especially on our children. Our families deserve advocates who stand up for them, who work to keep them together and who provide them with the tools to meet the challenges of a complex world. It has been the privilege of my life to serve in that role as a part of the Allen County judiciary.”

Former Marion County CPO and POPAI Member pens novel: “The Rankins of Pratt County”

on 1/29/2021 by Robert Bingham




            A coming-of-age story, “The Rankins of Pratt County,” tells the story of an Illinois teenager attempting to survive a severely dysfunctional family in the early 1980s.  In the midst of the struggle, a faulty decision lands 15 ½ year old Russell Rankin in the juvenile justice system. Further family disappointments compound the minor’s status until a North Carolina grandmother steps forward to provide temporary residence. Caring personalities evolve to guide and nurture Russell’s adjustment during a tumultuous stage of adolescence.

            “The Rankins of Pratt County” chronicles Russell’s lonely and eventful journey as family and  his adopting Blue Ridge community provide needed structure and support during his adjustment. Unashamedly, this 312-page novel is a feel good, overcome the odds, root for the underdog story that champions resiliency of the human spirit.

            The novel’s narrative is uniquely enhanced by inclusion of an official  court document, a one-act play within the novel, journal and diary entries, and a letter. The book is authored by a career practitioner and recognized expert within the field of juvenile justice; it presents an outcome typically not recognized by the general public.

            The author previously published a memoir, “Growing Up Lansdowne” in 2015.

Publisher: BookBaby

Release dates: E-book – January 29, 2021, Printed version – March 5, 2021.

Contact information:

            Robert L. Bingham

            Email: RLBing48@gmail.com

            Cell: 317-407-0407

            Website:  https://theranksofpratt.wixsite.com/therankinsofpratt

What Makes for Good Policing Makes for Good Citizenship

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Real Clear Policy on 1/25/2021 by Marc Levin

Legitimacy is the currency of policing and democracy. There will never be enough police to be on every corner, but most Americans believe our government is legitimate and our laws are at least mostly just, and hence they follow them even when no one is looking. Most are also inclined to report crime and cooperate as witnesses.

Even so, a recent study found that only 30% of Black Americans trust police. Besides being a moral imperative, trust between police and communities is also a public safety one. Consider this: after highly publicized police shootings of Black Americans in Milwaukee, residents in these neighborhoods were less likely to report crimes.

Producing public safety is not a spectator sport, and neither is maintaining a democracy. Yet even with record turnout in 2020, a third of eligible Americans did not vote.

Much more ominously, the January 6 insurrection revealed how a dastardly delegitimization of our election supplied militias, white supremacists, and other dead-ender miscreants with the sense of grievance, entitlement, and license they needed not just to be barbarians at the gates, but heathens marauding through the temple of our democracy.