The Herald Bulletin on 10/1/2017 by Stuart Hirsch
ANDERSON — Lots of opportunities exist for criminal defendants in Indiana to appeal and challenge court rulings and decisions after a trial.
One of the most common reasons for appeal occurs when an offender is accused of violating probation, found guilty, and is sent to the Department of Correction to serve out their jail time.
Only a tiny fraction of the probation violation cases the Indiana Court of Appeals considers are ever successful, however.
Although details and circumstances differ from case-to-case, decisions in probation cases invariably contain statements like this:
“Probation is a matter of grace left to trial court discretion, not a right to which a criminal defendant is entitled.”
“We begin with the premise that there is no right to probation, and a trial court has ‘discretion whether to grant it, under what conditions, and whether to revoke it if conditions are violated.’
Two recent Court of Appeals decisions in Madison County cases illustrate the difficulties offenders face if they pursue an appeal.
PBS on 10/9/2017 by Nsikan Akpan and Julia Griffin
(Note: the article is full of interesting video, if you have a moment and want to dig deeper, follow the link above to the full article.)
Pain and pleasure rank among nature’s strongest motivators, but when mixed, the two can become irresistible. This is how opioids brew a potent and deadly addiction in the brain.
Societies have coveted the euphoria and pain relief provided by opioids since Ancient Sumerians referred to opium poppies as the “joy plant” circa 3400 B.C. But the repercussions of using the drugs were ever present, too. For centuries, Chinese patients swallowed opium cocktails before major surgeries, but by 1500, they described the recreational use of opium pipes as subversive. The Chinese emperor Yung Cheng eventually restricted the use of opium for medical purposes in 1729.
Less than 100 years later, a German chemist purified morphine from poppies, creating the go-to pain reliever for anxiety and respiratory conditions. But the Civil War and its many wounds spawned mass addiction to the drugs, a syndrome dubbed Soldier’s Disease. A cough syrup was concocted in the late 1800s — called heroin — to remedy these morphine addictions.
Today, prescription and synthetic opioids crowd America’s medicine cabinets and streets, driving a modern crisis that may kill half a million people over the next decade. Image by Lead Pipe Productions Pty Ltd
Today, prescription and synthetic opioids crowd America’s medicine cabinets and streets, driving a modern crisis that may kill half a million people over the next decade. Image by Lead Pipe Productions Pty Ltd
Doctors thought the syrup would be “non-addictive.” Instead, it turned into a low-cost habit that spread internationally. More than 70 percent of the world’s opium — 3,410 tons — goes to heroin production, a number that has more than doubled since 1985. Approximately 17 million people around the globe used heroin, opium or morphine in 2016.
Today, prescription and synthetic opioids crowd America’s medicine cabinets and streets, driving a modern crisis that may kill half a million people over the next decade. Opioids claimed 53,000 lives in the U.S. last year, according to preliminary estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — more than those killed in motor vehicle accidents.
How did we arrive here? Here’s a look at why our brains get hooked on opioids.
Continue reading →
Berkeley News on 10/3/2017 by Yasmin Anwar
Parole violations are accelerating prison’s revolving door, suggests new study. (Cartoon by J.D. Crowe/Press Register)
Failing a drug test, associating with felons and other technical parole violations are among the key drivers of prison’s “revolving door,” according to new UC Berkeley research.
The study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, found that felons who served time behind bars were more likely to return to prison within five years of their release, compared to equivalent offenders who were sentenced to probation.
Moreover, it found that most of their later returns to prison were due to parole violations rather than new crimes.
“This study shows that the revolving door is primarily a product of post-prison community supervision rather than the commission of new felony crimes, as so many people become trapped in the criminal justice system’s accelerating cycle of surveillance and punishment,” said study lead author David Harding, an associate professor of sociology at UC Berkeley.
The results suggest that alternatives to imprisonment for parole violators, such as treatment programs or community service, might slow down prison’s revolving door, he said.
The findings shed new light on contributors to the soaring U.S. prison population which, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts report, saw a 700-percent increase between 1970 and 2005.
The full cost of incarceration in the United States has been estimated at over $1 trillion when factoring in prisoners’ diminished wages and job prospects, the socio-economic burden to families and communities as well as government operational costs, according to a Washington University study.
For this new study, researchers at UC Berkeley, the University of Michigan and the State University of New York at Albany analyzed the criminal records of more than 100,000 people sentenced for violent and nonviolent felonies in Michigan between 2003 and 2006, tracking them through September 2013.
The researchers’ statistical methods enabled them to determine the extent to which being sentenced to prison rather than probation increased the chances of a future felony conviction or prison term.
The results also showed a small decrease in crime during the time that the offenders were behind bars, and that after their release, they committed slightly fewer crimes than felons who had been sentenced to probation.
“One implication is that mass imprisonment is giving us less crime prevention than we might have assumed,” Harding said.
Parole violations include failing to complete certain programs, breaking curfew, failing a drug or alcohol test, associating with other felons, moving home or leaving the state without permission.
While not felony crimes per se, these breaches are subject to prison terms and, as this latest study shows, may play an integral role in the growth of prison populations, researchers said.
In addition to Harding, co-authors of the study are Jeffrey Morenoff and Anh Nguyen at the University of Michigan, and Shawn Bushway at the State University of New York at Albany.
While images of men in white robes and torches might evoke feelings of a bygone era, the White Nationalist movement is alive and well — if you know where to look and what you’re looking for.
Join Detective Brent Smith as he shares a rare, “behind the scenes” view of the White Nationalist movement in the 21st century. Based on his years of under cover work in this arena, Brent will share practical information justice professionals need to know in this changing climate, including:
- A summary of the history and ideology of White Nationalism,
- An overview of white power / white nationalist ideology,
- A review of the key players in the White Nationalist movement: past and present,
- and details about significant symbols law enforcement and justice professionals need to be aware of as they interact with the public, suspects, probationers, and the incarcerated.
Detective Brent Smith is a 16-year veteran of the Mesa Police Department and is currently assigned to the Technology Operations Group as well as the ATF Violent Crime Task Force.
Detective Smith’s past assignments include time spent in the patrol bureau as well as on special assignment to the Homicide Unit, the Gang Unit, and the Career Criminal Squad. Detective Smith was one of the founding detectives for the East Valley Gang and Criminal Information Fusion Center, where he helped to establish an information-sharing network with other local agencies. Detective Smith is the lead instructor for gang training for the Mesa Police Department and has instructed for several local agencies.
Detective Smith is considered a regional expert on skin heads and white power ideology. Detective Smith has been interviewed by various media outlets regarding his knowledge of gangs and has been featured as an instructor at forums such as the Arizona Gang Investigator Association’s annual gang conference and the Know Gangs annual gang conference in Las Vegas. Detective Smith was presented the Anti-Defamation League’s 2014 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award for his work and dedication.
About the Justice Clearinghouse:
With more than 20,000 justice and public safety professionals in our community, The Justice Clearinghouse is the first organization to espouse an inter-disciplinary approach to understanding and resolving the challenges affecting our justice and public safety arena.
As a peer-to-peer educational environment, we offer a year-round “virtual conference” for budget-challenged and time-starved justice professionals to learn from the thought leaders, innovators, researchers, and street-wise, experienced professionals in their fields, without the cost, travel, or time out of the office.
The justice arena is an integrated profession
Law enforcement works in partnership with prosecutors. Prosecutors rely on forensics professionals. Courtroom professionals are impacted by the cases prosecutors bring forth. Incarceration, Probation and Parole staff see the results of the investigative process. Academic, professional researchers evaluate and provide evidence-based recommendations for improvement.
Each segment of our community is important: each relies on the other for superior professionalism. But all too often, local area departments and divisions simply do not have the resources to provide all the training they would like, nor the ability to fund staff to attend national conferences.
The Indianapolis Star on 10/3/2017 by Ryan Martin
As Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry stood at a podium Thursday to announce his office’s pursuit of the death penalty against Jason Dane Brown, he read four names.
David Moore. Rod Bradway. Perry Renn.
And now Aaron Allan.
All four were police officers who have been killed during Curry’s seven years as the county prosecutor.
At Thursday’s press conference Curry said he was sending a message in seeking the death penalty: Attacks against police officers will not be tolerated.
Recent history suggests that the death penalty case could result in a plea agreement. That is what happened in the two other police shootings in which the suspects were arrested.
During a press conference Thursday, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announces his office will seek the death penalty against Jason Brown, who is accused of killing Southport Police Lt. Aaron Allan in July. Southport Police Chief Tom Vaughn also spoke during the press conference. (Photo: Ryan Martin/IndyStar)
Thomas Hardy, who pleaded guilty to Moore’s 2011 murder, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Major Davis, who pleaded guilty to killing Renn in a 2014 gun battle, received the same sentence.
In the Bradway shooting, the suspect was killed.
Curry said the Moore and Renn cases shouldn’t portend what could happen in the case against Brown.
“In any given case, we do not know what path it will take,” Curry said Thursday.
Moore’s family wanted resolution, he said, leading to the agreement with Hardy.
As for Davis, Curry said there were “significant mental health issues” that complicated the prospect of the death penalty.
Continue reading →
The Texas Tribune on 10/02/2017 by Jolie McCullough
The next chapter in Harris County’s saga over bail practices is set to play out in federal court Tuesday morning, and officials involved in pretrial processes throughout Texas are holding their breath.
The state’s most populous county is involved in a complicated fight over how its bail procedures impact poor misdemeanor defendants awaiting trial. A federal lawsuit questions the constitutionality of the county’s pretrial system, where arrestees who can’t afford their bail bonds regularly sit in jail — often until their cases are resolved days or weeks later — while similar defendants who have cash are released.
Bail is a legal mechanism to ensure defendants appear in court for their hearings. The most common practice is secured money bail, where judicial officers set a bond amount that must be paid by defendants in order to be released. The bond can either be paid to the court in full and then refunded after all court appearances are made, or, more commonly, paid through a bond company that charges a nonrefundable percentage — usually around 10 percent — but will front the total cost.
Last year, inmates filed suit against Harris County, saying they were wrongfully detained in jail simply because they were too poor to pay their bail bonds. The lawsuit covers all indigent defendants arrested on misdemeanors, like driving with an invalid license or shoplifting.
In April, U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal issued a groundbreaking ruling, calling Harris County’s bail practices unconstitutional and ordering the release of almost all misdemeanor defendants from jail within 24 hours of arrest, regardless of their ability to pay the bond amount. The county, which has implemented many of its own reforms since the suit’s filing, has appealed the injunction at the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, where oral arguments will be heard in New Orleans on Tuesday.
WFYI on 9/28/2017 by Barbara Brosher
Most people facing criminal charges in Indiana can await their trials outside of jail – if they have the ability to post bail. Indiana’s Constitution defines bail as monetary, but a state Supreme Court rule will move away from that longstanding practice and allow counties to release some people without requiring a bail payment.
The rule is already in practice as part of a pilot program in several counties and will eventually go statewide. Some say it’s the first step toward significant bail reform in Indiana.
Criminal Rule 26 asks counties to consider risk instead of money
Juard Barnes knows firsthand how sitting in jail for a few months can impact a person’s life.
“I lost my apartment in that time period,” Barnes says. “So many things was lost, credibility was lost, opportunities to make money were lost.”
He was behind on child support when officers put him in jail and had to come up with $3,000 bail to be released. Barnes was able to scrape together the money with the help of his brother but says many people in Indiana don’t have that ability.
“How many people can come up with $3,000?” he says.
Barnes is part of the Indianapolis Congregational Action Network, which has been pushing for bail reform for years. He’s applauding the Indiana Supreme Court for its work on issuing a rule last year that will lead to changes across the state.
“When you deal with bail reform, you’re talking about people who are the most marginalized going to jail, not being able to make bail, sitting there for a week, two weeks, six weeks, sitting there coming out having lost their jobs, having lost their housing,” he says.
The new guidelines for bail in Indiana are outlined in Criminal Rule 26 and urge counties to consider someone’s risk when determining their pre-trial release instead of focusing on money. The goal of the rule, in part, is to “eliminate the unfair and often protracted incarceration of poor people who don’t have the resources to purchase a bail bond or pay a bail deposit.”
“So we’re trying to get more information to judges to make more informed decisions at the time of pre-trial release, that it doesn’t just come down to if they’ve got the funding so that low-level violent offenders won’t serve significant time pretrial before they’re convicted,” says Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court Loretta Rush.
Criminal Rule 26 by Indiana Public Media News on Scribd
Counties testing pre-trial assessment through pilot program
Several counties across the state are already putting the rule into practice through a pilot program, including Bartholomew County.
“It’s not just a technical change where we change a process, we’re changing a mindset,” says Assistant Chief Probation Officer Kim Maus. Continue reading →
The Indiana Lawyer on 10/4/2017 by Marilyn Odendahl
At the dedication of Terre Haute’s new federal courthouse in November 2009, then-Judge Larry McKinney of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana took a swipe at those who said it couldn’t be done.
The Southern District lost its presence in western Indiana when its Art Deco style courthouse on Seventh and Cherry streets was sold to Indiana State University. McKinney, not wanting the federal judges to exit from the region where the nation’s only federal death row is located, went to the authorities in Washington, D.C., and insisted another courthouse be built.
He was part of a team that included Southern District Bankruptcy Court Judge Frank Otte and Clerk Laura Briggs, along with then-Sen. Evan Bayh. Together, they led the successful push for a new federal courthouse.
On the day of the celebration, McKinney used his remarks to remind everyone that sometimes what seems impossible is possible. He said the building’s existence was “a slap in the face of cynics and naysayers and nabobs of negativism.”
McKinney, described as brilliant, dedicated, always ready with a joke, and a lover of fine single-malt Scotch, died Sept. 20 at age 73. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, two sons and several grandchildren.
“He was just a funny, funny man,” Chief Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson said. “He was a little naughty and irreverent, which we enjoyed. He taught us not to be too serious.”
A 1969 graduate of Indiana University Maurer School of Law, McKinney was nominated to the Southern District by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed in 1987. He served as chief judge from 2001 through 2007, and he assumed senior status on his 65th birthday, July 4, 2009.
During his 30-year career on the federal bench, McKinney handled thousands of cases.
His most memorable included an attempt by the city of Baltimore, Maryland, to pluck the Colts name for its new football team. In Indianapolis Colts, Inc. v. Metropolitan Baltimore Football Club, 34 F.3d 410 (7th Cir. 1994), McKinney issued a preliminary injunction that prevented the Canadian Football League’s new Maryland team from calling itself the “Baltimore CFL Colts.”
His favorite sport was baseball, always cheering for the Chicago White Sox, and once hurling the opening pitch across home plate at an Indianapolis Indians game. After Magnus-Stinson successfully interviewed for a magistrate judge position in the Southern District, McKinney told her that she had “hit it out of the park.”
He hung a framed picture of Detroit Pistons’ center Bill Laimbeer to help reduce irritating behavior. Whenever the attorneys, huddled in his chambers, began bellyaching, McKinney would point to Laimbeer, who had earned a reputation as a chronic complainer, and admonish, “No whining.”
“He was one of a kind,” said Southern District Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker. “People just loved him and are going to miss him terribly.” Continue reading →
Evansville Courier and Press (original article Indy Star) on 10/5/2017 by Kaitlin L Lange
Even after excise police said they would no longer confiscate a cannabis extract from Indiana stores, they continued to threaten to punish retailers that carried the product.
At least twice after the state’s Alcohol and Tobacco Commission announced the moratorium on Aug. 12, excise police, the agency’s law enforcement arm, cited stores for potential violations for selling products containing cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive substance found in marijuana plants.
Two days later, a store in Lake County was given a notice of violation for CBD products the excise police had seized in January, records obtained by IndyStar show.
In September, a Shell gas station on the southside of Indianapolis was issued a warning for its supply of “Kush Cakes” that are “made with CBD.”
When asked for clarification on the state’s policy after those two incidents, agency spokeswoman Heather Lynch issued a one-sentence, saying the warning and violation were “issued in error and have been withdrawn.”
Lynch offered no explanation as to why the errors occurred.
The two incidents came after Lynch said in August the the ATC would no longer confiscate CBD products “unless the products clearly violate Indiana law.” That led many store owners to re-stock their shelves with the product.
The moratorium came after a sudden state-wide crackdown on the product in May that resulted in the seizure of more than 3,000 products from about 60 stores throughout the state.
IndyStar first reported those statewide busts, showing they occurred amid mass confusion over the state’s complicated CBD laws.
In April, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill into law that allows people diagnosed with treatment-resistant epilepsy to possess cannabidiol as part of a new state registry. However, the CBD must contain less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the compound in marijuana that produces a high.
The excise police thought the new law made it clear that possession of CBD for other purposes was a crime, but some lawmakers and Indiana State Police, a different state law enforcement branch, have said the substance already was legal under a 2014 law that removed industrial hemp products from the state’s controlled substance statute.
When questions about the legality of the CBD busts surfaced, state officials, including a spokeswoman for the governor, said the busts would stop and the seized products would be held until the “legal analysis pursuant to Indiana law is complete.”
The violation issued to Smoke & Vape in New Chicago resulted from CBD e-liquids seized in January. The products later tested positive for cannabidiol which “is considered a controlled substance,” an officer told the store owner when he gave him the violation in August.
The Shell gas station received a written warning for having a box of “Kush Cakes,” a brownie made with “hemp protein” the excise officer found beneath the store’s register.
“If an Excise Officer were to return after the five days and… the Kush Cakes were still in the store, then the warning would become a violation,” an officer wrote in his incident report.
Lynch said the ATC had informed the two store owners that their citation and warning were withdrawn. Gurwinder Singh, the owner of the Shell gas station, however, said he hasn’t received any notice that the warning was a mistake, and he already returned the CBD product to his wholesaler.
Store owners have largely been left in the dark on the issue, even as some have opted to put CBD products back on their shelves after news of the moratorium broke.
The recent ATC “errors” worry Happy Daze Smoke Shop store owner Jeff Shelton.
“We definitely feel like at any time the rug could e pulled back from under us,” said Shelton said. “Until they come out and give a definitive answer, we’re definitely going to feel on edge and worried they could come in and take the products.”
Even though the citation and violation were just mistakes, the agency could change its stance on the substance once a legal analysis of Indiana law is complete. Attorney General Curtis Hill also is set to issue a formal opinion on the product’s legality.
Brandy Barrett, the mother of a 10-year-old boy who uses CBD to treat his severe epilepsy, sees the gaffe as just the latest in a string of ATC mistakes and confusion over state law.
“Obviously this goes to show there is a real issue going on in the state,” Barrett said.
She said its discouraging and disheartening to learn the ATC is causing more confusion after issuing a clear statement with its moratorium.
on September 19, 2017
Probation representatives discussed the impact of the revised Indiana criminal code (known as HEA 1006) at the September 19, 2017 meeting of the Interim Study Committee on Corrections and Criminal Code.
Representatives of Probation Departments:
Linda Brady, Chief Probation Officer of Monroe County Probation Department and Committee member, described the potential drop in court revenue that could occur by permitting certain nonviolent criminal defendants to be released without paying cash bonds.
Deputy Chief Probation Officer Troy Hatfield, Monroe County Probation Department, described Monroe County’s pretrial program. He provided additional statistical information about the Monroe County Probation Department (Exhibit 2).
Sarah Lochner, Chief Probation Officer of Wabash County, described the new positions that her department has added because of new funding for community corrections and probation programs.
Christine Kerl, Chief Probation Officer of Marion County Probation Department, described the problems with housing pretrial defendants in Marion County jails and the additional staff she has been able to hire because of the community corrections funding increase.
Alan Davis, a recovering addict, described the assistance that he has received from programs and medication funded in part by the Recovery Works Program.
See the probation presentations at the following hyperlink. Scroll to Wednesday September 19, 2017 Part 1. Probation remarks start at the 1:44 mark of Part 1.
Corrections and Criminal Code September 19, 2017 Part 1
- DOC HEA 1006 Fiscal Analysis Year 2017
- Monroe County Probation Statistics
- Update of Jail Survey by Office of Judicial Administration
- Pretrial Pilot Counties and Problem Solving Court Programs in Indiana
- Responses from Sheriff Clark to questions from previous meeting
- Dearborn County Jail Chemical Addictions Program
- LSA Staff Report on Criminal Justice Funding
on September 22, 2017
The misuse of opioids such as heroin, morphine, and prescription pain medicines is not only a devastating public health crisis, it is critically affecting the administration of justice in courthouses throughout the United States. In response to this national crisis, top state court leaders formed a task force to find solutions, examine current efforts, and make recommendations to address the opioid epidemic’s ongoing impact on the justice system. Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush will co-chair the task force.
The announcement was made Wednesday by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) on behalf of the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators. The two groups jointly adopted a policy resolution at their recent annual conference to establish the task force.
Chief Justice Rush, who is also on the Conference of Chief Justices Board of Directors, is committed to working with her colleagues across the country to address the issue. She said, “While much attention has deservedly been focused on this epidemic’s health impact, we cannot ignore the significant legal issues it also raises. It has become a recurring theme throughout our nation that this crisis is crippling our communities and overwhelming our courts.”
The work plan for the judicial branch task force includes the following strategies:
- Convening representatives from state and federal government and key national organizations to share existing strategies and identify unmet needs
- Creating partnerships with entities addressing the impact of opioids on children with specific emphasis on foster care, assisting state courts in developing opioid task forces, and working with existing state task forces to make recommendations for local response efforts
- Developing guiding principles that state courts can use for successful collaboration among treatment providers, criminal justice systems, and child welfare agencies
- Creating a checklist of state legislation, policy, and court rules that aid or inhibit response efforts
Chief Justice Rush is co-chairing the task force with the Tennessee State Court Administrator Deborah Taylor Tate. Other task force members include Iowa Chief Justice Mark Cady, New Mexico Chief Justice Judith Nakamura, Vermont Chief Justice Paul Reiber, Michael Buenger of Ohio, Nancy Dixon of Kansas, and Corey Steel of Nebraska. An initial in-person meeting of the members of the task force will take place in Washington, DC on November 13, 2017.
Financial support for the study group comes from the State Justice Institute. The NCSC will provide additional funding, as well as staffing support. Questions about the task force can also be addressed to Lorri Montgomery, NCSC Director of Communications at 757-259-1525 or email@example.com.
The 2017 IACCAC Fall Training Institute online registration is now available!
This year’s conference theme is “Assessments – Keys to the Kingdom of Offender Change”. The conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis located at One South Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 through Friday, November 17, 2017 with Intensive Sessions beginning as early as Tuesday, November 14, 2017.
We are pleased to announce Mark Carey of The Carey Group will be delivering the Wednesday Keynote Session, Assessments – Keys to the Kingdom of Offender Change! Tim Ryan of A Man in Recovery Foundation will be delivering the Thursday Keynote Session, Let’s Deal HOPE, not DOPE!
Additionally, intensive sessions are available at no cost with a Full Conference registration and include: Supervisor’s EBP BriefCASE, Carey Guides & BITS, Data Visualization: Telling You Story, and A Peak Into the Future of Behavior Change.
You may find it helpful to refer to the session descriptions and additional information attached prior to beginning the registration process. The session descriptions outline the intensive and breakout sessions available. Seating is limited for the intensive sessions, however, you may register for the waiting list; in the event of an opening, we will contact you.
Lastly, if you sign up for one of the following intensive sessions: Supervisors EBP BriefCASE, Carey Guides and BITS, or Data Visualization – Telling Your Story, please be sure to select “I am attending an intensive session during this time” from the drop down lists for both Wednesday afternoon breakout sessions.
Please click on the link below to begin your registration and select your conference experience!.
Hotel reservations may be made by following the link:
Here are two more informative documents:
2017 IACCAC FTI Intensive & Workshop Descriptions
News and Tribune on 9/25/2017 by Aprile Rickert
CLARK COUNTY — A Clark County judge recently was feted for her work to improve the courts system and to better the community.
Circuit Court No. 4 Judge Vicki Carmichael was awarded the two distinctions at the annual Indiana Judicial Conference, attended by around 600 judges, magistrates and senior judges from across the state.
The Excellence in Public Information and Education Award was given by the Indiana Judges Association for her special adopt-a-doll event, a Saturday each year where kids can come in and officially adopt their favorite toys, stuffed animals or even pets.
They stand before Carmichael and take an oath to care for their friend, and they are given a certificate of adoption. The program was originally started by former Clark County Judge Buzz Jacobs. Carmichael restarted the program nine years ago after a hiatus.
“It’s just a fun thing,” she said. “An introduction to the courts system that’s positive. I think it’s important for judges to be seen in the community — to be seen as approachable and compassionate and caring about their community and kids and families.”
Carmichael was also recognized for her work the past two years as president of the Indiana Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges — an organization that works to improve the efforts of judges and lawyers in relation to families.
The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, a program started in the 1990s to reinvest funds for mass incarceration toward juvenile, family and community development, is one major development borne out of the council in recent decades. Continue reading →
Huffington Post on 9/20/2017 by Dominique Mosbergen
New York City police confiscated almost 200 pounds of the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl last month ? the largest seizure in city history. The cache was enough to kill more than 30 million people from overdoses, police said.
On Aug. 1, more than 140 pounds of pure fentanyl and almost 50 pounds of fentanyl-laced heroin, as well as other drugs, were seized from an apartment in the Kew Gardens neighborhood in Queens, police said Monday. Rogelio Alvarado-Robles and Blanca Flores-Solis were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.
A total of 213 pounds of narcotics were confiscated from the Kew Gardens apartment, which police said was “associated” with the two men.
“Given that a dose of fentanyl weighing two to three milligrams can be deadly, the [140 pounds] of pure fentanyl alone seized in this case could have yielded approximately 32 million lethal doses,” the NYPD said.
A month after the Kew Gardens bust, a second narcotics raid in New York -this time in the Bronx – resulted in the seizure of 55 pounds of fentanyl and heroin, the NYPD said.
That bust, on Sept. 5, led to 53 pounds of a fentanyl and heroin mixture, as well as about two pounds of pure fentanyl. The drugs were seized from a vehicle near Yankee Stadium. Two men were arrested at the scene.
Officials said the drugs recovered in the two busts had a total street value of over $30 million. The seizures, they noted, illustrated the enormity of the fentanyl crisis in not just New York City, where drug overdose deaths reached an all-time high in 2016, but in the entire region.
“The sheer volume of fentanyl pouring into the city is shocking,” Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s special narcotics prosecutor, said in a statement. “It’s not only killing a record number of people in New York City, but the city is used as a hub of regional distribution for a lethal substance that is taking thousands of lives throughout the Northeast.”
Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids surpassed heroin last year as the leading cause of drug overdose deaths in the United States, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
More than 20,000 people in the U.S. died in 2016 from synthetic opioids, the CDC said – more than double the number from the year before.
The Indiana Lawyer on 09/19/2017 by Jennifer Nelson
A Chicago woman who got kicked out of a bar and instigated a confrontation with a bouncer must pay for the medical bills the man sustained as a result of being attacked by her friends, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.