Author Archives: Melanie Pitstick

Johnny Bobbitt gets probation in GoFundMe scam, still faces federal charges

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The Indiana Gazette/Philadelphia Inquirer


Jan Hefler

MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. — Johnny Bobbitt Jr. was sentenced Friday to five years on special probation and ordered to enroll in a long-term, live-in drug rehabilitation program after admitting to his role in a $402,706 GoFundMe scam. Bobbitt and his coconspirators solicited funds from more than 14,000 donors across the country with a fraudulent Good […]

Philadelphia DA plans to end ‘mass supervision’ by cutting length of probation and parole

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ABA Journal



Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced Thursday that his office will seek lower terms of probation and parole when making sentencing recommendations and negotiating plea deals. Krasner already has sought shorter sentences, charged crimes at a lower level, and reduced reliance on cash bail for low-level offenses. Now he hopes to address “mass supervision” of […]

Indiana parolees find success, employment after prison

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The Indiana Lawyer


Associated Press

Most people in Indiana’s parole program are finding jobs after their release from prison despite having felony convictions, the program’s director says. About 80 percent of Indiana residents on parole have found employment, and most of those who fail on parole haven’t found a job or have their parole revoked because they use drugs and […]

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

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The Indiana Lawyer


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 […]

Violent crime is down in Indianapolis; mayor says ‘there’s nothing to celebrate’

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Indy Star


Suzette Hackney

The overall crime rate continues to fluctuate in Indianapolis — with notable downward trends in important categories — but the number of homicides year over year won’t budge. In fact, the city is on track to set a record for homicides for the fourth straight year. More alarming is that neither Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett […]

Messenger: Lawmaker targets probation-for-profit companies in Missouri

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St. Louis Post Dispatch


Tony Messenger

Jerry Swartz knows a thing or two about making money. The Moberly, Mo., man owns an insurance agency, a real estate development company and other businesses. He has more than 30 employees. He’s done well for himself. So when he describes the revenue strategy of private probation companies in Missouri, his words carry a certain […]

Judicial officers recognized at annual educational conference

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Indiana Office of Court Services


Kathryn Dolan

Many judges, magistrates, and commissioners were recognized by Chief Justice Loretta Rush for their commitment to higher education and their long-time service. Fourteen judicial officers received an Indiana Judicial College certificate, twenty-nine received an Indiana Graduate Program for Judges certificate, and eleven were honored for Years of Service on the bench. The honors were presented […]

Public Safety and those with criminal histories battle in 3-on-3 tourney

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Indy Star


Kelly Wilkinson

Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana’s New Beginnings hosted the 3-on-3 basketball tournament bringing together participants in New Beginnings, a six month re-entry program for ex-offenders that work on job and life skills, with representatives from Goodwill, IMPD, the Mayor’s Office, Marion County Probation department and other services.  

Chamber names Rush 2018 Government Leader of the Year

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Indiana Lawyer


Katie Stancombe

Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush has been named the state’s 2018 Government Leader of the Year by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. “The role of the chief justice of Indiana is expansive in both its responsibilities and importance,” a Tuesday press release said. “Loretta Rush brings a passionate commitment, and strong organizational skills and communication […]

One of worst DUI offenders in US

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A woman that police called “one of the worst DUI offenders in the United States” has been sentenced. RIVERSIDE, Ill. (WLS) — Tasha Lynn Schleicher, 41, of New Hope, Minnesota, was arrested in west suburban Riverside in April and faced multiple charges, including two counts of felony aggravated drunk driving, two counts of misdemeanor drunk […]

Follow Up: Judge explains why he gave day care provider who hanged toddler probation

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MINNEAPOLIS (KARE11) – A judge’s choice to hand down probation instead of prison time to former day care provider Nataliia Karia, who pleaded guilty to attempted murder, is getting a lot of reaction. “The trauma her victims suffered is undeniable,” said Karia’s attorney Brock Hunter. “I’m sure many of them will be scarred for the […]

POPAI Election Deadline is July 6, 2018

It’s time for the annual POPAI Elections. Up for election in 2018: President Secretary District 2 District 4 District 6 District 8 POPAI District 5 Representative Melanie Pitstick is serving as the Election Committee Chair. The Intent to Run form must be sent to Melanie by July 6, 2018 (postmarked, emailed, or faxed).  The form […]

IU McKinney professor to testify before Senate on opioid crisis

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The Indiana Lawyer


IL Staff

An Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law professor is headed to Washington, D.C., to testify before the U.S. Senate about his work combatting the ongoing opioid crisis.

Trailblazing Judge Patricia Gifford leaves strong legacy

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The Indiana Lawyer


Marilyn Odendahl

Retired Marion Superior Court Judge Patricia Gifford, the sixth woman to sit as a trial judge in the state of Indiana and one of the first women in the country to be assigned to prosecute only sex offense cases, died April 8 in Fort Meyers Beach, Florida. She was 79.

MRNISO Spring Training

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REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR THE SPRING CONFERENCE! WHEN: Friday, April 13, 2018 WHERE: The Hornet Park Community Center in Beech Grove, IN WHO: Special guest featuring Patty Wetterling! Patty is the mother of Jacob Wetterling, who was abducted at the age of 11, by a masked gunman on October 22, 1989 near his home […]

17 Marion County judges begin new retention process, 3 opt to retire

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The Indiana Lawyer


Marilyn Odendahl

Marion County will start its new judicial selection process next month with the interviews of 17 judges who want to stand for retention in the November 2018 elections. Three other judges — Democrats Thomas Carroll and Rebekah Pierson-Treacy and Republican Michael Keele — have decided to retire at the end of this year. The interviews […]

ACLU says Indiana sex offender law is tougher on new Hoosiers

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The Indy Star


Holly Hays

Three men have filed a lawsuit against the Indiana Department of Correction, claiming Indiana’s requirement that they register as sex offenders violates their Constitutional rights.

Child focused tools in juvenile court

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Indiana Court Times


Our juvenile courts have several innovative tools available to assist children and youth through the Child in Need of Services (CHINS) and delinquency processes. Courts have the new dual status youth screening and assessment tool that allows courts to better identify crossover youth and to coordinate services for youth, regardless of whether they come into […]

Woman who started fight outside bar responsible for victim’s medical bills

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The Indiana Lawyer


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.