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Request for Presenters at 2019 Justice Services Conference

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Indiana Office of Court Services on 01/28/2019 by Indiana Office of Court Services

The Indiana Office of Court Services is pleased to announce a Call for Papers for the 2019 Justice Services Conference.

The conference will be held on August 6th – 8th, 2019 at the Indiana Convention Center.

The conference will include all staff from Probation, Court Alcohol and Drug Programs and Problem-Solving Courts.

With the increased number of sessions offered, we are opening a “Call for Papers” for those interested in presenting a workshop at our conference. The submissions for presentation will be reviewed and selections made by the Indiana Office of Court Services staff along with the educational sub-committees for Probation, Court Alcohol and Drug Programs and Problem-Solving Courts.

Please contact Michelle Henkle at with any questions relating to your submission.

Thank you in advance and we look forward to another great conference this year!

Indiana’s abortion ultrasound requirement could get final say from the Supreme Court

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Indy Star on 02/04/2019 by Shari Rudavsky

The Supreme Court of the United States may have the ultimate say on whether women in Indiana seeking abortions will have to pay an additional visit to a doctor’s office for an ultrasound before undergoing the procedure.

On Monday the state of Indiana asked the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court’s preliminary injunction blocking a 2016 law that would require women to have an ultrasound performed at least 18 hours before an abortion.

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill said he hopes the Supreme Court will rule that the law is constitutional. He called the law “vitally important.”

“The state has a compelling interest to protect fetal life and dignity,” Hill said in a written statement. “It also has an obligation to ensure that women do not feel rushed or pressured into getting an abortion.”

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky along with the ACLU of Indiana had filed suit against the law. They argued that the requirement to get an ultrasound at least 18 hours before undergoing an abortion was unconstitutional in that it placed an undue burden on the woman.

In April 2017, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt issued the injunction, saying that the state had provided no evidence that this part of House Enrolled Act 1337, signed into law by then-Gov. Mike Pence, would improve either fetal life or women’s mental health.

Fourteen months later the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision. Currently, a woman seeking an abortion in Indiana can undergo an ultrasound at the same appointment. This new law would effectively require her to make two trips, the plaintiffs argued.

“If this law were to go into effect, women, especially low-income women, would be unable to exercise their rights because of obstacles such as transportation, childcare and job schedules,” said Jane Henegar, executive director of the ACLU of Indiana in a written statement. “We will remain vigilant in our defense of every woman’s right to make her own medical decisions.”

ACLU officials said that at least one woman did not go ahead with her plans to abort her child in the brief period that the law was in effect. The woman, a single mother with special-needs children, would have had to twice make a six hour drive to the clinic and changed her mind, ACLU officials said.

“There is no medical justification for the ultrasound waiting period, and the requirement creates a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking to obtain an abortion,” said Ken Falk, legal director with the ACLU of Indiana in a statement.

Anti-abortion advocates praised the state for its request to the Supreme Court.

Abortions in the state spiked after Pratt handed down the injunction compared with the six months when the 18-hour waiting period was in effect, said Mike Fichter, president and chief executive officer of Indiana Right to Life.

“This isn’t about inconvenience to women. It’s about abortion providers not wanting women to be fully informed about the humanity of their unborn children when making life or death decisions,” Fichter said.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky Chief Executive Officer Chris Charbonneau said that the only reason Indiana’s politicians had passed the law was to end women’s access to abortion.

“If the state of Indiana wants to address health care disparities like the infant mortality rates, it should get to work finding solutions that improve access to health care,” she said in a written statement. “This law does the opposite — it chips away at a patient’s ability to access critical health care when they need it.”

Indiana has the seventh highest infant mortality rate in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The high court already has a petition before it to consider two other provisions of HEA 1337.

In a separate lawsuit, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky and the ACLU of Indiana sued the state for the provisions in the act that would prohibit abortions on the basis of gender, disability, and race and place specific requirements on the disposal of fetal remains.

That suit had a similar trajectory through the courts. A district court granted a preliminary judgement, the attorney general appealed it, and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s ruling.

In December, Hill asked the Supreme Court to review the case. His request is pending.

State, national groups support Indiana public defense reform

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The Indiana Lawyer on 02/06/2019 by Olivia Covington

Leaders of state and national criminal justice organizations are declaring their support for the Indiana Public Defender Commission’s reform initiative, which the commission is presenting to the Indiana General Assembly this year in an effort to secure additional funds to expand and improve indigent defense services statewide.

In a letter submitted to House Speaker Brian Bosma, Senate President pro tempore Rod Bray, House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta and Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane on Jan. 22, leaders of the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, Right on Crime, Due Process Institute, Freedom Works, Prison Fellowship and Americans for Prosperity-Indiana urged the Legislature to support the commission’s 2019-2021 budget requests. Those requests would allocate roughly $40.8 million to the commission per fiscal year in the biennial budget and would include additional funds for the commission’s priorities.

Those priorities, as presented to the House Ways and Means Committee last month, include an increase in the commission’s base funding and additional appropriations for the reimbursement of misdemeanor cases and the creation of a statewide appellate office. The base funding increase would cost the state $4.47 million per fiscal year, while misdemeanor reimbursements would come with an annual $5.7 million and the appellate office would cost $4.9 million annually

Odds of dying from accidental opioid overdose in the US surpass those of dying in car accident

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CNN on 1/14/2019 by By Kevin Flower and Meera Senthilingam

For the first time on record the odds of accidentally dying from an opioid overdose in the United States are now greater than those of dying in an automobile accident.

The grim finding comes from the National Safety Council which analyzed preventable injury and fatality statistics from 2017.

The NSC also found the lifetime odds of death for this form of overdose were greater than the risk of death from falls, pedestrian incidents, drowning and fire.

Examining a variety of federal and state data the NSC found the lifetime odds of dying from an accidental opioid overdose were 1 in 96. For motor vehicle accidents the odds were 1 in 103 and 1 in 114 for falls. The lifetime odds of suicide were greater, at 1 in 88.

“Too many people still believe the opioid crisis is abstract and will not impact them. Many still do not see it as a major threat to them or their family,” said Maureen Vogel, spokeswoman for the National Safety Council told CNN in an email. “These data show the gravity of the crisis. We have known for some time that opioid overdose is an everyday killer, and these odds illustrate that in a very jarring way.” Continue reading →

Harris County judges unveil drastic new plan for releasing defendants on no-cash bail

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Houston Chronicle on 01/18/2019 by Gabrielle Banks

The new slate of Democratic judges have approved comprehensive revisions to Harris County’s bail system that could clear the way for thousands of people, regardless of income, to avoid spending time in jail while awaiting trial on minor offenses.

The county judges plan to present their new court protocol to a federal judge, in a joint request with the sheriff, the county and poor defendants, in a historic class action over bail practices, asking that she implement the revised system as a foundation for a settlement.

The civil rights lawsuit accused the county of holding indigent clients in jail for days because they couldn’t afford costly bonds.

Under the new administrative rule, 85 percent of people arrested on misdemeanors automatically qualify for release on no-cash bonds, according to the county’s pretrial services division. People arrested for bond violations, repeat drunken driving and family violence are the only exceptions. These defendants must appear before a magistrate or judge within 48 hours, at which time they may also qualify for personal recognizance bonds.

“What it means is that no one will be in jail because they cannot afford to get out,” said Court at Law Judge Darrell Jordan, the presiding judge, who has been on the bench since 2017. “This is a history making moment for civil rights not only in Harris County but for the U.S., because as the third-largest county in America, which is larger than 26 states, what we do here will be watched by all and can be emulated or replicated by all.”


Pretrial Release producing expected results

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Chronicle Tribune on 01/27/2019 by Spencer Durham

Ten months into piloting a pretrial release program, Grant County officials are seeing the outcome they wanted – defendants showing up to their court date.

Grant County was one of 11 counties selected to pilot a pretrial release program that helps judges make more informed decisions on who they release. The program began on March 5 last year.

In the rules, each arrestee is evaluated with an evidence-based risk assessment that includes basic questions about arrest charges and the person’s history. The arrestee then appears in court along with their public defender, pretrial service officer and a prosecutor.

The prosecutor argues whether the suspect should be released or recommends a bail amount. The public defender and prosecutor then discuss with the judge whether to release the defendant or set certain pretrial conditions, such as providing a level of supervision, or holding the defendant in jail on bond or until the trial.

End of 2018 data about the program presented Wednesday at the Community Corrections Board showed Grant County has had fewer pretrial failures – suspects not showing or being arrested on a new offense – than expected.

No low risk cases had a pretrial failure, only 2 percent suffered a failure for moderate risk cases. High risk cases suffered a 14 percent failure rate.

Probability percentages given for the program were at five percent for low risk, 18 percent of moderate and 29 percent for high risk.

“These numbers say, yes, they can be released,” said Lakisha Fisher, pretrial release coordinator.

Of the 176 total cases released to Pretrial Services, 77 percent of defendants completed the program without failing to appear, violations or new offenses.

Though the numbers are promising it is likely that those percentages will increase as the sample size increases over time. Circuit Court Judge Mark Spitzer said Grant County was the last of the pilot counties to fully implement the program.

“(I) expect to see the numbers increase a bit,” Spitzer said. “At this point, it looks like we’ll be real close to the predicted outcomes.”

The purpose of the program, which will go live statewide in 2020, is to create a more fair and reliable criminal justice system. This is what the Indiana Supreme Court is hoping for. A committee study on pretrial release assessments suggested evidence-based risk assessments help improve public safety, reduce recidivism rates and save taxpayers money, which is what prompted the Supreme Court’s decision.

“It’s really a more principled way to make a decision,” Spitzer said of the pretrial program.

The judge said the state is moving away from a reliance on cash bond. A monetary bond can be detrimental to those with low income. Superior Court I Judge Jeffrey Todd said last year that sometimes a defendant will plead guilty, even if innocent, so they can return to work.

“The benefit is that the some people have jobs, and they can get out and get back to work,” Fisher said. “… We are moving toward an evidence-based practice. The numbers are showing that bond isn’t the reason why someone shows up (to court) or not.”

“That’s the benefit for having a preventive detention … It’s a more straightforward way of making decisions,” Spitzer added.

Part of defendant’s release can include a requirement that the defendant take a shot of Vivitrol, which reduces opiate cravings.

Reducing opiate craving in exchange for release helps some defendants get help sooner, rather than just sitting in jail.

“This is a program that helps get those services started,” Fisher said.

Spitzer said other counties are seeing similar results to that of Grant County.

“There’s nothing in this data that would cause me to say we need to back out,” he said.

Rush, Goff publish dissent on poverty as probation violation

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The Indiana Lawyer on January 16, 2019 by Katie Stancombe

A split Indiana Supreme Court denied a petition to transfer a homeless man’s probation violation appeal, with two justices writing in a published dissent that the litigant was an indigent man incarcerated for probation violations that resulted from his poverty, not his intentions.

Chief Justice Loretta Rush and Justice Christopher Goff both dissented from the majority’s denial of Timothy D. Martin v. State of Indiana, 29A04-1712-CR-02992 in a Tuesday order. Timothy Martin was convicted of three counts of child molestation and served 14 years in the Department of Correction before being released on probation, which included special conditions related to his status as an adult sex offender.

Nine months after his release, Martin admitted to violating probation when he failed to provide written verification demonstrating his completion of required evaluations and programs. Martin then successfully completed an additional two years in the DOC while simultaneously working at a fast-food restaurant. He owed more than $3,500 in court fees, had no driver’s license and was homeless. Martin eventually lost his job for lack of ability to pay for transportation, and he was ordered in violation of failing to pay for and attend four required sex offender counseling sessions. The state further claimed he owed more than $300 for the counseling.

Although he later obtained a new job and reliable transportation to attend work and his counseling sessions, a trial court denied Martin’s request to remain on probation and ordered him to serve the remaining four years of his previously suspended sentence at the DOC.

“Are additional procedural safeguards necessary to ensure that indigent Hoosiers aren’t incarcerated for probation violations that result simply from their poverty? Yes — and it’s imperative that this Court explicitly establish those protections. Today, however, this Court declines to do so, and I thus respectfully dissent from the denial of transfer,” the chief justice wrote.

“The trial court premised its revocation decision on Martin’s failure to participate in counseling. But Martin could participate in counseling only if he paid the fees for it — and payment was an explicit requirement listed within his probation conditions,” Rush wrote in dissenting from the majority. “Martin’s unequivocal position was that he could not restart counseling until he had enough money for those fees. So, it seems the trial court may have incarcerated Martin simply because he couldn’t meet a probation condition ‘that impose[d] financial obligations’ on him.”

Rush noted that the record was unclear as to whether the trial court believed Martin did, in fact, have financial resources to pay for counseling or, if not, whether an alternative to incarceration was inadequate.

“To be sure, this incomplete record hinders our appellate review,” she wrote. “… Despite relying on others for transportation to and from his job at Wendy’s, he was able to maintain employment for a time while looking for a long-term place to live. But by moving to escape homelessness, Martin lost his job and had no money to pay for his counseling sessions.”

“This is not to say that Martin’s probation conditions were unfair, or that the State was wrong in filing an information of violation. But Section 35-38-2-3(g) and (Bearden v. Georgia, 461 U.S. (1983)) protect against revoking probation simply because an indigent defendant can’t meet a condition’s imposed financial obligation,” Rush continued. “In cases that implicate both Section 35-38-2-3(g) and Bearden, as here, limited additional findings are the appropriate procedural safeguards to ensure that indigent defendants don’t end up incarcerated just because they’re poor.”

In an Indiana Court of Appeals decision, Judge Margret G. Robb similarly dissented from the appellate majority, arguing in a 15-page dissent in a memorandum decision that Martin’s case qualified under Indiana Code section 35-38-2-3(g).

Decatur lawyer sentenced to jail for forgery, counterfeiting

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The Indiana Lawyer on 1/27/2019 by Dave Stafford

An attorney in northeastern Indiana has been suspended from the practice of law after she was criminally charged. The lawyer has been accused of signing a judge’s name to a phony order in a divorce case and sending emails to an expungement client’s widow posing as a deputy prosecutor.

Jill N. Holtzclaw of Decatur was suspended for noncooperation with the Indiana Supreme Court disciplinary commission’s investigation of a grievance against her. The July 19 suspension was effective immediately.

Holtzclaw declined to comment when reached Wednesday. She said she is being represented in the criminal matter by attorney Eric D. Orr of Berne, who also said he could not comment. A hearing in Holtzclaw’s criminal case is set for July 11.

Holtzclaw was charged with two counts of Level 6 felony counterfeiting in Adams County in February. Sheriff’s Detective Lt. Gary Burkhart wrote in an affidavit of probable cause the prior November that he had been asked to look into a suspicious divorce decree and final order that appeared to bear the signature of Adams Circuit Judge Chad Kukelhan. The detective wrote that the order contained no cause number.

“In looking into this further it was discovered there is no way this document could have been signed by Judge Kukelhan without the cause number being attached,” Burkhart wrote of the divorce order.

Hotlzclaw represented the wife, who told Burkart that Holtzclaw had provided her the document and told her that her divorce was final. The wife “had some questions regarding her support payments and went to the Adams County Clerk’s office to check on the support issue,” Burkhart wrote. She “was told the courts had no record of her divorce ever being filed in Adams Circuit or Adams Superior Court.”

Burkhart said Kukelhan advised that the signature on the document was neither his nor a stamp he uses. “It was also learned that Judge Kukelhan was not in the office on the day the document was supposedly signed,” the detective wrote.

In a separate investigation in February, Adams County Sheriff’s Sgt. Larry Butler wrote that Holtzclaw sent emails to the widow of a man she had represented in an expungement case, falsely claiming the communications were from Huntington County deputy prosecutor Jennifer Pyclik.

Pyclik said Holtzclaw had emailed her in June 2016 to ask about the man’s case. Pyclik said she told Holtzclaw the office’s records only dated back to 1978, and the man’s conviction had been before that. The prosecutor said she suggested Holtzclaw contact the county clerk for further assistance, and that was the extent of their communication.

But this February, after the man had died, his widow contacted Pyclik asking about getting records that showed her late husband’s felony conviction had been cleared. According to Butler, Pyclik soon learned that Holtzclaw had sent the widow emails that contained replies falsely purporting to be from the deputy prosecutor. One reply read, “I show that both convictions have been cleared. Feel free to stop by the office when I am in and I can show you the cleared CCS.”

“Pyclik stated she did not send those emails,” Butler wrote, nor had the prosecutor ever used the email address associated with the replies Holtzclaw provided to the widow.

The Supreme Court’s suspension order says Holtzclaw failed to respond to the commission’s April 20 letter ordering her to show cause why she should not be suspended for failure to cooperate with its investigation into a grievance against her. The commission on May 14 filed a request for ruling and to tax costs, but Holtzclaw did not respond.

Holtzclaw operated Holtzclaw Legal Services in Decatur and was admitted to practice in 2012. In addition to her suspension, she also is assessed the $513.55 cost of prosecuting the disciplinary proceeding.

LGBTQ Youth and Juvenile Detention

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MST Services on 1/24/2019

According to the US Department of Justice, 856,130 juveniles were arrested across the country during 2016, 45,567 of which were held in 1,772 juvenile facilities. Of those 45,567 juveniles, an average of fifteen to eighteen percent identified as LGBTQ–that’s twice the rate at which LGBTQ are represented within the general US population. In a recent survey conducted in selected juvenile detention facilities across the US, forty percent of the total female population identified as LGBTQ, and out of all the LGBTQ respondents, eighty-five percent were youths of color. In recent years, juvenile justice advocates have begun to ask a new question: why is the LGBTQ population so overrepresented within the juvenile justice system?

What Leads LGBTQ Youth to Offend?

One of the biggest contributors to LGBTQ youth involvement with the juvenile justice system is homelessness. Once on the street, these youths can feel that they have no other option but to resort to committing survival crimes, such as prostitution, theft, or participation in various drug-related crimes. These types of survival crimes very often lead to an LGBTQ youth having interactions with police officers, which then leads to incarceration in a juvenile detention facility.

Other issues that can lead to LGBTQ youth involvement in the juvenile justice system relate to poor experiences at school. Most LGBTQ youth report having experienced some form of discrimination, harassment, or abuse at their school. These situations can lead to an LGBTQ youth to feel compelled to fight back if physically assaulted, or to skip school entirely to avoid high-risk situations. A recent poll entitled the National School Climate Study found that about one-third of LGBTQ youth reported having skipped school for harassment or safety concerns. Truancy is often treated as a criminal charge for juveniles, which can lead to them being arrested and sent to detention.

LGBTQ Youth and Juvenile Detention: Experiences

The experiences of LGBTQ youth within detention centers are often just as unfortunate at the experiences that led them to offend in the first place. These youth experience harassment and sexual assault at much higher rates than heterosexual youth in detention. In 2017, the Williams Institute released an analysis of the National Survey of Youth in Custody, to assess the experiences of LGB youth specifically. The Institute found that 15% of male LGB youths and 4.5% of female LGB youths in custody reported having sexual contact with a staff member within their detention facility, versus just 8.9% of heterosexual male youths and 2.2% of heterosexual female youths. The rate of sexual assault by peers within the facility is even higher: 20.6% for LGB male youths and 6.7% for LGB female youths, versus 1.9% for heterosexual male youths and 4.1% for heterosexual female youths. When LGBTQ youth are placed in adult facilities, as is typical when states prosecute sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds as adults, they experience sexual assault at five times the rate of those in juvenile facilities.

For transgender youth, the inadequacy of detention health care is even more evident because few juvenile justice professionals understand the health needs of transgender youth. For these youth, the availability of transition-related hormones or puberty-delaying hormone blockers is a necessity. Interrupting the transition process once it has already been started can be both physically and psychologically damaging to a transgender youth. Often, though, these treatments are not available in detention facilities, and the youth must have their legal counsel seek a court order to receive it. Transgender youth in detention also face the issue of being assigned to a facility based on the gender on their birth certificate, rather than the gender they identify with. This can cause issues especially for male-to-female transgender youth; as they have feminized appearances, being placed with males leads to an even higher risk of sexual assault or harassment.

Examples of Reformed Approaches to LGBTQ Youth in Detention

One country-wide change that has benefited LGBTQ youth is the passing of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), which sets basic standards for the treatment of detained youth, including LGBTQ youth, to reduce the chances of a youth being sexually assaulted while in custody. Implementation of PREA standards has been inconsistent, however, with some states opting to not follow the standards at all.

In Massachusetts, the Department of Youth Services has recently implemented policy changes to address the needs of the LGBTQ youth in its juvenile detention facilities. The policy prohibits discrimination against or harassment of LGBTQ youth, allows transgender youth to shower and dress in private, dress codes that apply equally to male and female juveniles, and additional training for staff. The state also adopted the PREA standards to help prevent rape and sexual assault within their juvenile facilities.

While these changes mark important victories for LGBTQ youth that are involved with the juvenile justice system, additional changes are needed to prevent them from even coming to a detention facility. From youth homeless shelters to support centers and therapies that work with the whole family, there are a multitude of options that could be implemented to reduce LGBTQ incarceration rates. In the opinion of one queer youth who wrote an essay on the harassment she experienced while in the juvenile justice system, “We need guidance — not abandonment.”


Rush stresses ‘customer service’ during 2019 State of the Judiciary

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The Indiana Lawyer on 1/23/2019 by Katie Stancombe

With applause amplified from all corners of the Indiana General Assembly’s House Chamber, the leader of Indiana’s judiciary declared the state’s judiciary is “sound, steady and strong” in 2019.

Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush shared the highlights of the judiciary’s work in 2018 while looking toward the year ahead during the 2019 State of the Judiciary address Jan. 16. The chief justice presented to a joint session of the Indiana General Assembly and more than 75 judges from across the state.

With a theme of “Addressing the Needs of our Customers,” the judiciary plans to emphasize quality customer service to court users in 2019, she said.
Video and full text available here.

Update on Evidence-Based Pretrial Practices

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Indiana Court Times on 01/15/2019 by Mary Kay Hudson

Part Two

In 2016, eleven counties committed to participate in local criminal justice reform initiatives through Indiana’s Evidence-Based Decision Making (EBDM) Initiative in collaboration with the Indiana EBDM policy team (state team).

Since then, all eleven counties, under the leadership of their local EBDM policy teams and guided by the state team, have launched pretrial pilot programs that follow best practices in pretrial release and supervision. The pilot sites have implemented evidence-based practices in the following areas:

  • Indiana Risk Assessment System – Pretrial Assessment Tool (IRAS-PAT) results used to guide pretrial release and supervision decisions
  • Defense counsel and a deputy counsel available at initial hearings so the court can quickly review release decisions and conditions for persons not released prior to initial hearing
  • Locally established procedures for determining pretrial release conditions and responses to pretrial violations
  • Text or telephone notification systems that remind defendants of court dates from one to several days in advance of the hearing date
  • Data collection to evaluate pretrial outcomes to determine pretrial court appearance rates and safety rates (the percentage of pretrial defendants not rearrested during the pretrial period)

‘We Know What Types of Supervision … Help Reduce Recidivism and Incarceration’

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Pew Charitable Trusts on 01/08/2019

Arizona probation chief envisions smaller, less punitive, more effective system

Barbara Broderick has devoted most of her 40-year criminal justice career to improving state and local community supervision in Arizona and New York.

Since December 2000, she has served as chief probation officer of the Maricopa County (Arizona) Adult Probation Department, the nation’s sixth-largest, with more than 1,100 employees, a budget of $118 million, and about 54,000 individuals under its jurisdiction. She previously served as interim chief of juvenile probation in Arizona and as state director for adult probation for the Arizona Supreme Court, and she is past president of the American Probation and Parole Association.

Q: What are some of the top issues in the U.S. probation and parole system?

Two key challenges are just how large the supervision population has become and how diminished the resources are for many of my colleagues across the nation. I’ve been fortunate because my county has been very supportive as we’ve grown, although we haven’t seen a corresponding increase on the treatment side or in housing and workforce development. Another major problem is that there is no established standard for an appropriate workload size for our officers. That means it varies by county and state, and our people are usually stretched thin.

I also believe we impose way too many rules on people under supervision. In our state, we have 21 standard probation rules, and number 22 can be whatever the judge wants to write in. And if you’ve been convicted of certain crimes, there are additional conditions, and it all gets to be overwhelming for people.

Finally, I think we need to look at all the fees and other financial charges we impose on individuals on supervision. Many of them really struggle and are shackled to this debt, and that’s not helping anyone.

Johnson County names new chief probation officer

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Daily Journal on 1/16/2019 by Magen Kritsch

Angela C. Morris, Johnson County CPO

A juvenile probation officer has been named as the county’s chief probation officer.

Angela C. Morris has been appointed chief probation officer for the Johnson County courts. She will supervise both adult and juvenile probation divisions. She starts her new job Jan. 26.

Morris replaces Suzanne Miller, who is retiring after serving in the role for 25 years.

She was chosen and from six applicants who serve in the county’s probation department. Each applicant was vetted by a pool of judges who serve in the county.

Morris has worked as a juvenile probation officer since 2004. She has bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Indiana University and a master’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University. She has chaired the statewide Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative and has served as a member of the Child Service Planning Committee.

She is a member of the Johnson Memorial Hospital Health Foundation, past president of the Bargersville Police Merit Commission, Johnson County Fair Board and has served as president of Youth Connections, an organization that serves at-risk youth and families in Johnson and Morgan counties.

The five most addictive substances in the world

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CNN on 1/06/2019 by Eric Bowman

What are the most addictive drugs? This question seems simple, but the answer depends on whom you ask.

From the points of view of different researchers, the potential for a drug to be addictive can be judged in terms of the harm it causes, the street value of the drug, the extent to which the drug activates the brain’s dopamine system, how pleasurable people report the drug to be, the degree to which the drug causes withdrawal symptoms, and how easily a person trying the drug will become hooked.

There are other facets to measuring the addictive potential of a drug, too, and there are even researchers who argue that no drug is always addictive. Given the varied view of researchers, then, one way of ranking addictive drugs is to ask expert panels.

In 2007, David Nutt and his colleagues asked addiction experts to do exactly that — with some interesting findings.

1. Heroin
Nutt et al.’s experts ranked heroin as the most addictive drug, giving it a score of 3 out of a maximum score of 3. Heroin is an opiate that causes the level of dopamine in the brain’s reward system to increase by up to 200% in experimental animals. In addition to being arguably the most addictive drug, heroin is dangerous, too, because the dose that can cause death is only five times greater than the dose required for a high.

Heroin also has been rated as the second most harmful drug in terms of damage to both users and to society. The market for illegal opiates, including heroin, was estimated to be was estimated to be $68 billion worldwide in 2009.

2. Cocaine

Cocaine directly interferes with the brain’s use of dopamine to convey messages from one neuron to another. In essence, cocaine prevents neurons from turning the dopamine signal off, resulting in an abnormal activation of the brain’s reward pathways. In experiments on animals, cocaine caused dopamine levels to rise more than three times the normal level. It is estimated that between 14 million and 20 million people worldwide use cocaine and that in 2009 the cocaine market was worth about $75 billion.

Crack cocaine has been ranked by experts as being the third most damaging drug and powdered cocaine, which causes a milder high, as the fifth most damaging. About 21% of people who try cocaine will become dependent on it at sometime in their life. Cocaine is similar to other addictive stimulants, such as methamphetamine — which is becoming more of a problem as it becomes more widely available — and amphetamine.

3. Nicotine

Nicotine is the main addictive ingredient of tobacco. When somebody smokes a cigarette, nicotine is rapidly absorbed by the lungs and delivered to the brain. Nutt et al’s expert panels rated nicotine (tobacco) as the third most addictive substance.
More than two-thirds of Americans who tried smoking reported becoming dependent during their life. In 2002 the WHO estimated there were more than 1 billion smokers and it has been estimated that tobacco will kill more than 8 million people annually by 2030. Laboratory animals have the good sense not to smoke. However, rats will press a button to receive nicotine directly into their bloodstream — and this causes dopamine levels in the brain’s reward system to rise by about 25% to 40%.

4. Barbiturates (“downers”)

Barbiturates — also known as blue bullets, gorillas, nembies, barbs and pink ladies — are a class of drugs that were initially used to treat anxiety and to induce sleep. They interfere with chemical signalling in the brain, the effect of which is to shut down various brain regions. At low doses, barbiturates cause euphoria, but at higher doses they can be lethal because they suppress breathing. Barbiturate dependence was common when the drugs were easily available by prescription, but this has declined dramatically as other drugs have replaced them. This highlights the role that the context plays in addiction: if an addictive drug is not widely available, it can do little harm. Nutt et al’s expert panels rated barbiturates as the fourth most addictive substance.

5. Alcohol

Although legal in the US and UK, alcohol was scored by Nutt et al.’s experts 1.9 out of a maximum of 3. Alcohol has many effects on the brain, but in laboratory experiments on animals it increased dopamine levels in the brain’s reward system by 40% to 360% — and the more the animals drank the more dopamine levels increased.

Some 22% of people who have taken a drink will develop dependence on alcohol at some point during their life. The WHO has estimated that 2 billion people used alcohol in 2002 and more than 3 million people died in 2012 due to damage to the body caused by drinking. Alcohol has been ranked as the most damaging drug by other experts, too.

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Indy attorney who told court ‘someone is going to die’ suspended

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The Indiana Lawyer on January 14, 2019 by Katie Stancombe

An Indianapolis attorney charged with intimidation against a Marion County court and other offenses has been suspended from the practice of law after the Indiana Supreme Court granted a petition for his emergency suspension.

The high court granted the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission’s emergency petition in a Friday order that requested the suspension of Kraig A. Kenworthy pending further order of the court or final resolution of any resulting disciplinary action. The Commission said Kenworthy engaged in “alleged misconduct that may cause Respondent’s continued practice of law during the pendency of a disciplinary investigation or proceeding to pose a substantial threat of harm to the public, clients, potential clients, or the administration of justice.”

Kenworthy did not respond to the petition for emergency suspension and failed to undergo two competency examinations of which he was previously ordered by the court. Instead, he filed a “Verified Notice of Insufficient Service of Process” and an accompanying affidavit.

The attorney, of Kraig A. Kenworthy Attorney At Law, was suspended effective Jan. 11. According to the commission’s petition for emergency suspension,  Kenworthy was arrested and charged in June 2016 and charged with Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass and two counts of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. Police initially responded to a welfare check initiated by Kenworthy himself, informing officers that he had “knowledge of a group running an extortion ring and using a military device to commit homicide.” Officers believed him to be a danger to himself and others and took him to Eskenazi Hospital.

Then in October 2017, Kenworthy was charged with Class A misdemeanor intimidation after making several intimidating phone calls to the Marion Superior Court, where he told a member of the court’s staff that “someone is going to die today” and that “[t]here is going to be a murder”.

Former Marion Superior Judge Michael Keele, Civil Division 7, signed an Oct. 27, 2017 order restricting Kenworthy’s access to Keele’s courtroom without being accompanied by a uniformed law enforcement officer. Also, Marion Superior Court Judge David J. Certo ordered that Kenworthy have no contact with Keele or members of his staff.

This is Kenworthy’s first disciplinary action, according to the Indiana Roll of Attorneys. He was admitted to practice in 1988.