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Indiana Probation Departments Host Halloween Events for Registered Sex Offenders

Marion County:

Registered sex offenders required to attend Halloween meeting

INDIANAPOLIS – For the eighth year in a row, Operation Halloween will require registered sex offenders in Marion County to attend a meeting during trick or treat hours. The event is organized by the Marion Superior Court, Probation Department, in partnership with the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC), Parole Division, and Marion County Community Corrections.

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Monroe County: Indiana Daily Student

Registered sex offenders must attend mandatory Halloween meeting

All registered sex offenders currently under supervision by the Monroe Circuit Court Probation Department must report to the Justice Center for a mandatory meeting during trick-or-treating hours this Halloween, as they have for the last 13 years.  In addition to offenders currently under the supervision of the department, all paroled sex offenders will be required to attend the meeting or be available for home visits or phone calls from parole officers, according to a press release from the parole department.

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Lawrence County:  FOX59

Police use creative video to warn community about sex offenders before Halloween

BEDFORD, Ind (Oct. 27, 2014) – Halloween is just days away, and one central Indiana police department is getting the word out about local sex offenders.  The Bedford Police Department made a Facebook video that shows the faces of the nearly 50 sex offenders living in the city.

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Sources: Probation officer on leave after questionable Facebook post

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Author: Margo Gray


A probation officer employed by the city of Huntsville is now on administrative leave.  A city official said the probation officer will stay on leave pending an internal investigation.  The official would not tell us what that investigation involves. However, a source close to the incident said the investigation involves what probation officer Debbie Byrd posted on social media.

We obtained a picture of what Byrd posted a week ago, which has since been removed.

It reads (sic)…”this is for all my court, officer, and attorney friends. I ran a criminal history on someone and it pulled this up. This was from Fayetteville, TN. Guess the person entering the info had a little too much alchahol and didn’t have posetion of a good computer.”

Byrd points out typos a clerk entered, misspelling ‘alcohol’ and ‘possession.’  In the post, she mentions removing personal information, but left a tracking number.  To some, typos may not be a big deal to post, but it’s where the information came from that potentially makes it a big deal.


Man Accidentally Texts “You Have Some Weed?” To Probation Officer

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The Huffington Post
Author: Hilary Hanson

A Georgia man is back behind bars after mistakenly sending a request for marijuana to the worst person imaginable.

Alvin Cross Jr, of Albany, accidentally sent a text message reading “You have some weed?” to his probation officer, WALB reports. Cross was on probation after being sentenced to 15 years in prison for armed robbery offense in 2006, Dougherty County Lt. Lance Montgerard told The Huffington Post in an email.

In response to the text, law enforcement raided Cross’ residence, where they discovered a bag of cocaine. As a result, Cross pleaded guilty on Monday to cocaine possession and was sentenced to a year in prison.

Indiana Project screenings show need for more mental health services in youth detention

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Indiana is at the forefront of providing mental health screening and services to juvenile offenders, but more efforts are needed to improve the services provided to detained youths, according to Indiana University School of Medicine research findings published in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

“A Statewide Collaboration to Initiate Mental Health Screening and Assess Services for Indiana Detained Youths” reviewed 25,265 detention visits of 15,461 youths occurring in 2008 to 2011. The youths were incarcerated in 16 detention centers participating in the Indiana Juvenile Mental Health Screening Project, a statewide collaboration of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, the Indiana State Bar Association and other community members.

The intent was to implement mental health screening; determine the percentage of detainees in need of services; assess the availability and extent of detention center mental health follow-up and referral services; and assess whether a disparity exists due to the size and geographic location of the detention center.

More Older Adults Are Struggling with Substance Abuse

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New York Times
Author: Abby Ellin


BEFORE her drinking spiraled out of control, Sylvia Dobrow “drank like a lady,” as she put it, matching her wine to her sandwiches: “Tuna and chardonnay, roast beef and rosé.” But soon she was “drinking around the clock,” downing glasses of vodka and skim milk.

“When you try to hide your drinking from your grandchildren, you do whatever you can,” said Ms. Dobrow, 81, a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother living in Stockton, Calif.

A former hospital educator, Ms. Dobrow’s alcohol consumption became unmanageable after she lost her job and subsequently “lost my identity,” she said.

One night in early 2007, after a particularly excessive alcohol binge, Ms. Dobrow fell out of bed and suffered a black eye. That was when her two daughters, one of whom was a nurse, took her to Hemet Valley, a recovery facility in Hemet Valley, Calif., that caters to adults age 55 and older. Ms. Dobrow, who was 73 at the time, stayed for 30 days, which cost roughly $20,000, about $13,000 of which was covered by insurance. When she returned home, she continued with a 12-step program. She has been sober ever since.

2014 Probation Fall training registration is now open

Author: Angie Hensley-Langrel, Program Coordinator, Indiana Judicial Center

The 2014 Probation Fall training will be held Tuesday December 16th from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm (E.S.T.) at Jonathan Byrd’s Banquet Hall, 100 Byrd Way, Greenwood.

Topics for the Meeting:
* Dosage Probation
* Fourth Amendment and Due Process Issues in Probation
* Indiana Judicial Center Updates and Discussion
-Incentives and Sanctions Project Update
-IRAS/IYAS Recertification Procedures

Lunch will be provided for those that attend the entire training. Registration can be accessed on the IJC website on the Court Services Calendar:

Please note the fall training is in place of the regional meetings.


New Bloomington mental health court starting up

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Author: AP

174197278_1409042932320_7561614_ver1.0_640_480BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A new Monroe County mental health court is aimed at keeping people mentally stable and out of trouble and the community safe, officials said.

The new court also should save tax dollars, county prosecutor Chris Gaal said at a news conference Friday.

Changes to Indiana’s criminal code encourage communities to offer treatment and rehabilitation services to low-level offenders through probation and community corrections programs, and state funding will help pay for the Monroe County pilot program, The Herald-Times reported .


Declining PERF Enrollment, A Cause For Concern?

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Author: Troy Kehoe

Pension withdrawals causing new concerns at Statehouse

A technicality in state law is permitting thousands of new Hoosier public workers to opt out of Indiana’s public pension plans, such as the Public Employee Retirement Fund [PERF], and seek alternatives in retirement planning.   This loophole has bolstered autonomy for Hoosiers who have entered the public employee workforce within the last year; however, it has also produced a plethora of unintended consequences.

Since 2013, PERF’s total enrollment has plunged 13 percent causing a $170 million deficit in promised payments –known as unfunded liabilities—for Hoosier public workers in or near retirement.   Indiana Public Retirement System Director, Steve Russo, estimates that on its current path, unfunded liabilities could balloon to as much as $512 million, effectively decimating PERF’s reserves.   The General Assembly’s Pension Management Oversight Commission is attempting to combat this shortfall by lowering the annuity rates of all public employees who retire after October 1, 2014, by as much as 20 percent.  Such a step will undoubtedly slow the bleeding, but will also likely be the first of many PERF revisions to come.

How to Turn Around Troubled Teens: Research reveals that get-tough tactics may worsen rates of juvenile delinquency

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Scientific American
Author: Scott O. Lilienfeld and Hal Arkowitz

7C4A5E0A-2AFC-477A-BBD716C2807507E1_articleMike S. (not his real name) was 13 years old when one of us (Lilienfeld) met him on an inpatient psychiatric ward, where Lilienfeld was a clinical psychology intern. Mike was articulate and charming, and he radiated warmth. Yet this initial impression belied a disturbing truth. For several years Mike had been in serious trouble at school for lying, cheating and assaulting classmates. He was verbally abusive toward his biological mother, who lived alone with him. Mike tortured and even killed cats and bragged about experiencing no guilt over these actions. He was finally brought to the hospital in the mid-1980s, after he was caught trying to con railroad workers into giving him dynamite, which he intended to use to blow up his school. According to psychiatry’s standard guidebook, theDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (now in its fifth edition), Mike’s diagnosis was conduct disorder, a condition marked by a pattern of antisocial and perhaps criminal behavior emerging in childhood or adolescence.Psychologists have long struggled with how to treat adolescents with conduct disorder, or juvenile delinquency, as the condition is sometimes called when it comes to the attention of the courts. Given that the annual number of juvenile court cases is about 1.2 million, these efforts are of great societal importance. One set of approaches involves “getting tough” with delinquents by exposing them to strict discipline and attempting to shock them out of future crime. These efforts are popular, in part because they quench the public’s understandable thirst for law and order. Yet scientific studies indicate that these interventions are ineffective and can even backfire. Better ways to turn around troubled teens involve teaching them how to engage in positive behaviors rather than punishing them for negative ones.

You’re in the Army Now
One get-tough technique is boot camp, or “shock incarceration,” a solution for troubled teens introduced in the 1980s……..

Jury finds convict guilty of stalking probation officer

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NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, Pa. — A convict found guilty of stalking his probation officer by sending her threatening emails will be spending more time behind bars.

The Morning Call reports that Clinton D. Oxford was found guilty of stalking, terroristic threats and harassment. He was immediately sentenced to five and a half to fifteen years behind bars; he will also serve an additional prison term of four to six years for violating the parole he was under when he sent the threatening emails to probation officer Jennifer Dodwell.

Dodwell supervised Oxford since 2008 on a series of criminal convictions. His parole violation was for second-offense drunken driving, under which he originally received a 90-day to five year sentence.

The threatening messages were sent to Dodwell over the month of January. He also posted her address online.