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Apply for the 2020 Donald “Charley” Knepple Scholarship Award

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Donald “Charley” Knepple

Submit your application to be considered for the 2020 Donald “Charley” Knepple Scholarship Award. The winner will be announced at the 2020 Annual Indiana Probation Officers Conference in April.

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 pursuing a Masters / Doctorate Degree.

Download the application that contains Full Information including qualifications
(updated 2/15/2020)

Apply on or before 12:00 noon EST on Monday, March 23, 2020

Form return options are within the application document.

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

Management Institute and Chief Probation Officer Summit

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on 2/7/2020

March 12 and 13, 2020 at the Drury Plaza Hotel, Indianapolis.

The Probation Management Institute is designed to provide supervisory level staff with ongoing training opportunities in topics related to managing your department. This year, the POPAI Chief’s Executive Committee has chosen to focus on a variety of topics including :

• Community Correction Grant Audits
• Pre-Trial Services
• Updates from the Indiana Office of Court Services
• Court Technology
• Employee Performance Evaluations
• Internal Audits
• Judges Probation Committee Roundtable
• Legislative Updates

POPAI’s Corporate Members will also be in attendance on Thursday to share their information and network with attendees.

The Chief Probation Officer Summit provides Chief Probation Officers an opportunity for networking, information sharing, problem solving and general discussion with colleagues from Indiana’s 92 probation departments.

Learn more and register now

What Trump’s drug policies have meant for America’s opioid epidemic

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CNN on 2/2/2020 by Maegan Vazquez

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump campaigned on ending the opioid crisis in the United States. He highlighted stories of those affected in his State of the Union addresses. The first lady has made visits to neonatal clinics treating addiction recovering babies a key part of her time at the White House. And according to new federal statistics, deaths from drug overdoses declined for the first time in 28 years and life expectancy in the United States increased in 2018 for the first time in four years.

But on the verge of his final first-term State of the Union speech, a closer look at the numbers, published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reveal that despite the overall decline in overdose deaths, those numbers have still not returned to 2016 levels. And under Trump, other aspects of addiction and overdose deaths have evolved, as well.

The administration has zeroed-in on efforts to lower the body count caused by opioid overdoses, but deaths due to synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, have continued to rise and deaths involving cocaine and psychostimulants such as methamphetamine, MDMA, methylphenidate (commonly sold as Ritalin) and caffeine are also rising.

Under Trump, the federal government has undertaken a series of efforts to combat addiction and overdose deaths from opioids — setting restrictions on opioid prescriptions, calling for a public health emergency, launching ad campaigns aimed at young people who might abuse the drugs, expanding access to the opioid overdose antidote known as Naloxone and pushing for China to cease illicit fentanyl production and exporting, among other efforts. Continue reading →

They were young. They thought they had time. Then they nearly died of liver disease.

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Indy Star on 02/18/2020 by Shari Rudavsky

Although Rachel Martin would never deny she had a drinking problem, she figured years would pass before it would take a toll on her health. After all, she had not yet hit 40 and she had managed to eke out two years of complete sobriety about a decade ago.

Even when she was drinking, she would hit the bottle hard for three weeks but then go cold turkey for a week.

So when Martin started feeling off about a year and a half ago, she tried to ignore the symptoms. She lost her appetite, her skin itched, and as she put it, she lost her waist as fluid accumulated in her abdomen. For four months she continued to drink, but in mid-March 2019, she decided she was done.

The next day she finally went to the doctor and found out she had cirrhosis of the liver, something that did not surprise her, given her internet-aided self-diagnosis.

Justice by geography? Bill aims to bring uniformity to indigency determinations

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The Indiana Lawyer on 2/5/2020 by Olivia Covington

The basic concept of indigency is well-understood in the law. A low-income defendant who can’t afford a lawyer will be appointed one, and their court fees also may be waived.

But across Indiana, lawyers say judges in different counties often take different approaches to making an indigency determination. That’s led to what some call “justice by geography” — that is, a person facing charges might be deemed indigent in one county, but the same person facing the same charges in another county might be found to have the ability to pay.


Speaking at a summer study committee hearing in August 2019, Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, said there are four main issues where indigency is a factor: public defenders, court costs/fees, probation/post-conviction fees and bond/bail. Among those four issues, Tallian told the Interim Study Committee on Corrections and Criminal Code, there is no continuity in how indigency is determined.

Thus, during the 2020 legislative session, Tallian presented the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee with Senate Bill 302. The legislation creates a statutory list of factors for judges to consider when making indigency determinations.

Some concerns have been raised about SB 302 — specifically related to the fiscal impact it might have if more people are determined indigent — but Tallian’s bill has so far received unanimous, bipartisan support. The goal of the bill, she said, is to bring parity to the criminal justice system in each of Indiana’s 92 counties.

“We were trying to — you know, ‘equal justice for all’ — standardize at least some of the factors that courts would look at,” she said. Continue reading →

Homeless US student population ‘highest in more than a decade’

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BBC News on 2/4/2020

The number of homeless students in the US is the highest in more than a decade according to a new study.

Most of the 1.5m homeless children stayed with other families or friends after losing their homes.

But 7% lived in abandoned buildings or cars, the report by the National Centre for Homeless Education showed.

Homelessness is often caused by job insecurity, unaffordable housing, domestic violence and recently the opioid crisis.

Living without a fixed address has a serious impact on children’s education and health.

Less than a third of homeless students were able to read adequately, and they scored even lower in mathematics and science, the report showed.

“Homeless children are in crisis mode, and because they don’t have the luxury of focusing on school, they often fall behind,” Amanda Clifford, of the National Youth Forum on Homelessness (NYFH), told the BBC.

The most recent data was recorded in 2017-18 and was more than double the nearly 680,000 homeless students reported in 2004-05, the director of National Centre for Homeless Education told the New York Times.

The research measures the number of children in schools who report being homeless at some point during an academic year. As such, it does not show the total population of homeless young people in the US.

Why is student homelessness increasing?
Homelessness is a growing problem in the US, usually linked to the national housing crisis.

Millions of people spend more than half their income on housing, and many report they cannot afford to buy a house.

Increasing rents and a housing shortage has forced thousands of people in California to live in caravans or inadequate housing.

A changing economy, with factories closing down or the rise of the insecure gig economy, also leaves parents unable to pay rent.

The opioid crisis, in which almost two million people are addicted to prescription drugs, is also causing some families to break up or children to be removed from their homes.

A disproportionate number of homeless youth are LGBT, according to University of California Williams Institute.

Nearly seven in 10 said that family rejection was a major cause of becoming homeless, and abuse at home was another major reason.

What are the solutions?
Most experts say the solution lies in providing more housing at affordable rates, as well as providing support to families who may be affected by trauma or addiction.

“Addressing the immediate needs of families is important – providing housing and the next month’s rent. But beyond that, people need to be supported after their crisis has ended,” Ms Clifford, of the NYFH, said.

For example, that could include paying for car repairs, so a parent can ensure they can travel to work.

Tracking how children are performing at school over a longer period of time is also important, Ms Clifford says, because the impact of homelessness can continue even if a child is in stable housing again.

Senator drops push to force Indiana marijuana prosecutions

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The Indiana Lawyer on 02/02/2020 by Associated Press

A Republican state senator has dropped a proposal attacking what he called “social justice prosecution” by empowering Indiana’s attorney general to appoint special prosecutors to take over criminal cases that local authorities decide they won’t pursue.

The proposal followed Democratic Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears’ new policy of not pressing charges for possessing small amounts of marijuana. Republicans who control the Statehouse remain firm against marijuana legalization, as has happened in Michigan and Illinois. Medicinal marijuana also is legal in Ohio.

The bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Mike Young of Indianapolis, Senate Bill 436, died when he didn’t call it for action before a legislative deadline on Monday. That came a week after the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council argued the proposal wrongly usurped the discretion that county prosecutors must have about how to use their staff and budgets on which cases to pursue.

Mears announced in September that his office wouldn’t pursue charges against adults for possessing about 1 ounce or less of marijuana, saying the office would focus on prosecuting violent crimes. Since then, officials in northwestern Indiana’s Lake County started considering whether to give sheriff’s deputies the discretion to write a $50 to $250 ticket for small levels of marijuana, instead of taking someone to jail.

Young said Tuesday that other states had a variety of ways for higher officials to intervene in criminal prosecutions and that he would seek to have a special committee review the issue after this year’s legislative session. Young said his proposal wasn’t just about Mears’ action and that it could also cover a situation such as a prosecutor deciding not to pursue violations of the state hate crimes law adopted last year.

“The problem is when you just say ‘I’m not going to prosecute this law at all,’ that’s prosecutorial nullification and that’s making one person the Legislature instead of us,” Young said.

Young said his proposal stemmed from decisions by prosecutors in Boston and San Francisco to stop pressing charges in cases such as trespassing, disorderly conduct or prostitution.

“It’s because of the social justice prosecution phenomena that’s going on throughout the country,” Young said last week. “I wanted to try to head it off in Indiana.”

Even if the proposal had cleared the Senate, it faced uncertainty in the House. Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said the idea of shifting prosecution authority away from local elected officials had “a good deal of baggage.”

How 2 Indiana companies are helping employees with child care needs

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IndyStar on 12/24/2019 by Stepfanie Romine

Companies say helping employees access quality child care is ‘just good business.’

Access to quality, affordable child care is a widespread problem across the country and in the state of Indiana, where it affects parents and children across the socioeconomic spectrum in all 92 counties.

But, in addition to the challenges Indiana families have accessing care, a lack of early childhood education options has an enormous economic effect in the state.

In 2018, the Indiana University Public Policy Institute and Early Learning Indiana, a nonprofit that provides leadership, advocacy and services to continually improve the early learning landscape statewide, released a report estimating that inadequate child care leads to $1.8 billion in direct costs to Hoosier employers annually. It also results in a $1.1 billion reduction in economic activity and $118.8 million less tax revenue every single year. That’s a total of nearly $3 billion dollars lost each year. Continue reading →

Ready, set, skate! SROs, students meet at the ice rink

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Bartholomew County and Columbus law enforcement, including school resource officers, invited local junior high and high school students to get to know them on the ice of Hamilton Center.

The officers skated with 121 youth from area schools and enjoyed food and refreshments. There were also prize giveaways during the event.

The two-hour event, sponsored by the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), through the juvenile court operations in Bartholomew County, was held from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 11.

The idea behind the event was to allow law enforcement officers and teens to simply go out to the ice rink and hang out and have fun, said Bartholomew County Juvenile Court Magistrate Heather Mollo.

JDAI in Bartholomew County is one of many programs throughout the state that is in place to evaluate the operation of law enforcement regarding juveniles — which juveniles are being detained in secure detention and why, Mollo explained. While an emphasis is placed on keeping the community safe, the needs of the juvenile are also paramount as secure detention for a juvenile can mean being cut off from the support system of family and school and being exposed to possibly concerning influences by other juveniles in detention.

Another initiative out of JDAI’s efforts has been to help law enforcement officers understand the “teen brain,” Mollo said. Officers are trained with a special curriculum that goes over teen impulsiveness and potential reactions when dealing with authority figures, to prepare officers for those responses.

JDAI also is sponsoring events for teens and law enforcement throughout the year such as the free skating event to help develop better understanding and communication between them.

In addition to the law enforcement officers and school resource officers, Magistrate Mollo also skated with the teens at the event, she said.

“It was just about inviting the kids to come out and hang out with the law enforcement officers and have fun,” Mollo said. “I don’t think all of us (officers and the judge) looked great out there, but we were having fun,” she said.

“Best Practices” in Corrections: The Systems-Level Challenges to Implementing Evidence-Based Practices

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University of Minnesota Robina Institute on 12/29/2020

The purpose of this article is to review systems-level factors that impact implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) in corrections which are often less understood in the research. I provide a brief overview of the National Implementation Research Network’s (NIRN’s) core implementation components I use as my framework for this discussion, and then go through two examples of systems-level impacts on correctional organizations. The last several years of my work have been dedicated to understanding how correctional programs and practices can feasibly implement in the “real-world,” both in my research, my experience working with community correction agencies, and government work. Community corrections agencies have seen very short-lived implementation of EBPs (Blasko, Viglione, Toronjo, & Taxman, 2019). I define EBPs using a combination of resources, specifically, Jerry Ratcliffe’s evidence hierarchy in his book Reducing Crime and the evidence continuum on crimesolutions.gov (when discussing the topic more generally). For the most part, agencies and individuals will indicate they “are already using or ‘doing’ EBPs” or they’ve already been “trained on that;” however, there is documented evidence that suggests actual implementation and sustainable use of EBPs as training occurs less frequently. While a variety of reasons may explain why this is so, there is less frequent discussion as to how systems-level factors may impact individual and organizational factors that support or hinder implementation and sustainability of EBPs. Continue reading →

There’s a growing problem in the opioid fight: diarrhea medication

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USA Today on 1/19/2020 by Jon Webb


In September, the FDA stepped in to limit abuse of Imodium and other anti-diarrhea drugs. Apparently it’s a growing problem.

This lends itself to way more questions than answers, a friend of mine wrote on Facebook the other day above a weird photo.

It showed three boxes of Imodium A-D — that trusted anti-diarrhea medication — lying crumpled in a parking lot. What nightmarish emergency, he wondered, could have possibly led to this?

Turns out, it was nightmarish. Just not in the way most of us would think.

A few commenters on the post explained what was probably going on: People battling opioid withdrawal sometimes gobble Imodium by the fistful.

Imodium is the brand-name of loperamide: a drug that, if taken in gigantic quantities, can produce an opioid-like high — and present serious dangers to a person’s health.

I had no idea this was a problem. But apparently it’s nothing new.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the U.S. National Poison Data System reported a 90 percent spike in loperamide overdoses between 2010 and 2016.

Abusing the drug can, naturally, lead to horrific constipation. But it can also wreak havoc on your heart – usually through irregular heartbeats, the New York Times reported in 2016. Back then, overdose deaths had reportedly occurred in at least five states.

“Most physicians just recently realized loperamide could be abused, and few look for it,” the story read. “There is little if any national data on the problem, but many toxicologists and emergency department doctors suspect that it is more widespread than scattered reports suggest.”

A 2019 paper out of Rutgers University confirmed that. It said loperamide fatalities have spiked over the last few years.

All that has finally caused the FDA to step in.

In September, the agency announced it would limit Imodium A-D, Imodium Multi-Symptom Relief and Be Health Loperamide HCI capsules — as well as their generic offshoots — to 48 milligrams per package, or about 24 capsules per box. The maximum daily dosage is eight milligrams.

“Abuse of loperamide continues in the United States and taking higher than recommended doses can cause serious heart problems that can lead to death,” acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless said in the release.

But the FDA isn’t going to come crashing through pharmacy windows if stores don’t follow those guidelines. The new rules are nothing more than voluntary.

That becomes pretty clear if you take a stroll through a local pharmacy.

Battling dirty looks from pharmacy workers and customers alike, I scoped out several stores around Evansville this week and found a variety of anti-diarrhea displays.

Some kept Imodium locked in clear plastic cases. Others sported cage-free boxes that held as much as 96 milligrams per package.

I suppose you could rant about how all this is a sign of a deteriorating culture. I can’t even buy diarrhea medication anymore without feeling like a drug addict!

The saddest part for me, though, is that people feel they have to resort to this. I hope whoever left those crumpled boxes behind can find the help they need to kick their addiction.

What if the probation office was a place of joy instead of fear? New York City shows how.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer on 1/10/2020 by Samantha Melamed

Andre Whitehead, shown here near the South Bronx NeON, took advantage of photography classes offered at the probation office and discovered a new career path.

NEW YORK — By 8 a.m., the line already snaked all the way around the side of the South Bronx probation office, and more people were arriving, dragging metal shopping carts ready to receive canned vegetables, Thanksgiving turkeys, cat food, and boxed mac-and-cheese.

The eager, polyglot crowd, most of whom are not under court supervision, is the first indication that this is not probation as it is understood in many parts of the country — and definitely not in Philadelphia, where a probation visit typically means a brusque security screening followed by a brief encounter with a probation officer, all under the constant fear of incarceration.

This is the South Bronx NeON, short for Neighborhood Opportunity Network, one of seven neighborhood probation offices located in communities with high rates of supervision. In addition to drug testing and court-ordered reporting, the offices offer free photography classes and GED courses, sewing circles and antiviolence initiatives, food giveaways and a clothing closet, all open to those on probation as well as their neighbors. The South Bronx NeON has a poet-in-residence; other sites run music programs in collaboration with Carnegie Hall.

They present a new vision for what a probation office can mean to a neighborhood, probation commissioner Ana Bermudez said.

“The NeON is not a recidivism reduction strategy. It’s a community reinvestment strategy,” she said. “It’s a vehicle to create meaningful opportunities for people on probation. A byproduct of those interventions is a sense of safety in the community.”

It’s also the most visible emblem of a more fundamental shift: from an old-school, compliance-driven mentality to one focused on supporting people and reintegrating them into society. Continue reading →

Justices to hear arguments in blood draw suppression case

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Indiana Lawyer on 1/20/2020 by IL Staff

The Indiana Supreme Court will consider this week whether to grant transfer to a wrong-way-driver case focused on a post-accident blood draw.

Arguments on petition to transfer will be heard at 9 a.m. Thursday in State of Indiana v. Wesley Ryder, 18A-CR-02325.

In that case, Wesley Ryder was charged with several felonies after he allegedly drove southbound onto the northbound lanes of I-465 and crashed into another car. A responding state trooper noticed Ryder had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech at the time and asked him to take a field sobriety test, which Ryder failed.

Ryder was handcuffed and read his Miranda rights. The judge, who could not meet with the trooper until later that morning, signed a prepared probable cause affidavit and a proposed search warrant when the two met at a gas station later that morning.

Ryder was then taken to the hospital and the blood draw was performed, revealing a blood alcohol concentration of 0.11%.

Before trial, Ryder moved to suppress the results of the blood draw, arguing the collection had violated his federal and state constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure. The Marion Superior Court granted the motion to suppress, concluding the trooper had failed to file the probable cause affidavit before presenting it to the judge. The trial court also found that the blood draw test results were not admissible under the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule.

A split Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed in a memorandum decision, with the majority holding that the trial court did not err in determining the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule was inapplicable, and that the trooper did not substantially comply with the applicable statute by waiting three hours after the warrant was signed and executed to file the probable cause affidavit.

Judge Elaine Brown dissented with a separate opinion, finding that that any failure from the officer to comply with the statute was not substantial and that the good faith exception applies.

The state has petitioned the Supreme Court to accept jurisdiction.

Probation Officer Falls Ill While Searching Probationer in Westminster

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NBC Los Angeles on 1/7/2020 by City News Service

A probation officer fell ill while frisking a probationer Tuesday, prompting a hazardous materials alert at the agency’s offices in Westminster.

The probation officer was searching the probationer and his items in the department’s offices at 14180 Beach Blvd. about 2:45 p.m. when the officer fell ill, said Carrie Braun of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

The probation officer was given Narcan, which is used to help anyone if they experiencing an overdose of a powerful narcotic like Fentanyl, Braun said. The probation officer was rushed to a hospital, but was expected to survive, Braun said.

The probationer was detained while a hazardous materials team was sent to the building to seek the source of what led to the officer’s illness and decontaminate the facility, Braun said.

The building was evacuated before the search, Braun said. The building is next to the West Justice Center in Westminster, but it did not affect court hearings.

Indiana lawmakers push bill to grant driving cards to undocumented immigrants

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Fox59 on 1/13/2020 by Kelly Reinke

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — State lawmakers are continuing to push a proposal that would allow undocumented immigrants in Indiana to legally drive.

It is an idea that has been introduced seven times, but the bill has never received a hearing.

Yet, some representatives believe it is an important issue to take on.

During her first term, State Rep. Chris Campbell introduced HB 1083. It would provide driving cards and learner’s permits to undocumented immigrants.

According to her bill, they would be required to pass a written test and driving test. It would also allow them to get car insurance.

The driving cards would not allow an undocumented immigrant to vote.

“This has been proven to be good for the economy. It makes our roads safer,” she said. “This bill was brought to me by community members. As a legislator, it is up to me to represent my community.”

It is believed thousands of undocumented immigrants fear driving to fulfill basic needs. Advocates of this bill say families should be able to go to work or buy groceries without fear of deportation.

“We very much do not see this as a legal issue, we see this as a human rights issue,” said Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears. “We see this as a human dignity issue.” Continue reading →

In a County Jail, ‘The Barracks’ Aims to Give Veterans Resources and Hope

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Route Fifty on 12/13/2020 by Kate Elizabeth Queram

A flag hangs in The Barracks in the Gwinnett County Jail. (Courtesy Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office)

At the Gwinnett County Jail in Georgia, inmates who previously served in the military can choose to join a veterans-only housing unit that offers structure and tailored programming.

Filling out intake paperwork at the Gwinnett County Jail, Dylan Antoine marked “yes” on a form that asked if he had served in the military. Weeks later, a deputy came and asked if he’d like to move to a new housing unit specifically for veterans.

“I talked to my mom first,” said Antoine, 22, who is in the northeastern Georgia jail awaiting arraignment on charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault. “She said it would be a good idea because of the structure, the discipline, kind of getting away from the wrong crowd, and she thought I could gain a lot of knowledge from the older people there.”

So Antoine made the move to “The Barracks,” a 70-bed housing unit for veterans that opened in the Gwinnett County Jail in November. The Barracks looks the same as the jail’s other housing units, but offers services and activities for veterans that are designed to handle trauma, establish routine and help inmates transition productively back to society.

“The Barracks program provides classes to address drug abuse, behavioral therapy, and the trauma associated with military service. Inmates assigned to these units maintain a regimented schedule that includes room inspections and military-style physical fitness training,” said Deputy Shannon Volkodav, a spokeswoman for the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office, which spearheaded the program. “Our goal is to help reconnect these inmates to the time in their lives when they made better decisions, respected authority and obeyed the law.”

Veteran-specific housing units have existed in United States detention centers since at least 2011, mostly in state-level facilities, according to the National Institute of Corrections. As of June, there were barracks in 73 state prisons, 43 local jails and three federal prisons, according to the agency. Continue reading →