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Now accepting applications for the Donald “Charley” Knepple Award

on 02-28-15 by J. Taylor

charley KneppleIts that time of year again to submit your application to be considered for the Donald “Charley” Knepple Scholarship Award which will be given to one lucky person at the 2015 Annual Indiana Probation Officers Conference May 6 amd 7, held in Indianapolis, IN.

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

Good luck to all who apply and if there are any questions or concerns feel free to contact Jim Taylor (District #1 POPAI Rep / Chair of Awards and Recognition Committee)at 219-465-3347. Or you can email at

States Predict Inmates’ Future Crimes with Secretive Surveys

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Associated Press on 02/24/2015 by Eileen Sullivan & Ronnie Greene

RA ArticleLITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — On a hot Friday last July, a parolee was mowing a lawn in a small cul-de-sac on the west side of the city when he stopped to ask for a glass of water.

The 70-year-old widow whose yard he was mowing told him to wait on her porch. Instead, she said, he jerked the storm door open, slammed her against the wall, forced her into the bedroom and raped her. The parolee pushed her with such force, she said, that her front teeth were knocked loose.

Then he went back to mowing the lawn.

Milton Thomas, 58, said he’s not guilty. His trial is set for March.

Thomas has been in and out of Arkansas prisons since 2008 for nonviolent crimes, including check fraud. After he got out in November 2013, the state predicted he was a low risk to commit another crime, Thomas said, and assigned him the least amount of supervision.

His low-risk prediction would have been calculated based on answers to a lengthy questionnaire, the latest tool among the nation’s court systems to try to predict the likelihood that an offender will commit a crime again.

Across the country, states have turned to a data-driven movement to drive down prison populations, reduce recidivism and save billions of dollars. One emerging practice is the use of risk-and-needs assessment tools, which are questionnaires that explore issues beyond criminal history. They are based on surveys of offenders making their way through the justice system.

In a country with the highest incarceration numbers in the world, these questionnaires are a pillar of a new effort to get people out of prison. Repeat offenders are a major driver of bloated prison populations. But an Associated Press examination found significant problems with the surveys, which are used inconsistently across the United States, sometimes within the same jurisdiction.

Criminal justice bill offering funds for treatment programs heads to full House

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Indy Star on February 17, 2015 by Kristine Guerra

SteuerwaldThe House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday passed a bill that aims to reduce recidivism by providing millions of dollars in annual funding for substance abuse programs and mental health treatment for local communities.

House Bill 1006, authored by Rep. Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon, is a response to a massive criminal code overhaul that sends low-level offenders, many of whom have serious drug addictions and mental illnesses, to community corrections. Legislators set aside $30 million for the first year and $50 million for the second year for local programs for such low-level and nonviolent offenders.

The bill received support from community members who testified during Tuesday’s hearing. One of those who spoke was Linda Brady, chief probation officer in Monroe County and president of the Probation Officers Professional Association of Indiana Inc.

Juvenile delinquency down in Indiana and nationally

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Kokomo Tribune on February 18, 2015 by Lauren Slagter

5400b6376acc3.imageJuvenile delinquency is down across the nation, state and locally, and it’s related to a new perspective on juvenile justice that focuses on alternative ways to discipline youth.

The number of arrests of U.S. children younger than 18 has been decreasing for the last decade; between 2002 and 2011 there was a 31 percent decrease in the number of juvenile arrests nationally.

Indiana has seen a 29 percent decrease in annual juvenile case fillings from 2002 to 2012, and that number continued to decline in 2013. The local trend follows suit, with a 37.4 percent decline in juvenile case filings for Howard County over that same decade, and a 55.5 percent drop in Miami County, according to the 2015 Kids Count report released Monday. Of Indiana’s 92 counties, 72 had fewer delinquency cases in 2012 than in 2006.