Author Archives: Troy Hatfield

The Pot Breathalyzer Is Here. Maybe

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Eric Westervelt

As legalization of recreational and medical marijuana continues to expand, police across the country are more concerned than ever about stoned drivers taking to the nation’s roads and freeways, endangering lives. With few accurate roadside tools to detect pot impairment, police today have to rely largely on field sobriety tests developed to fight drunk driving […]

Lake Superior Judge Tavitas named to COA, succeeding Barnes

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The Indiana Lawyer


Olivia Covington

Lake Superior Judge Elizabeth Tavitas was on the bench on July 18 when her phone rang with a message that would change her career. It was a call from Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, informing her that she had been selected as Indiana’s next Court of Appeals judge. “I saw his (Holcomb’s) name light up on my […]

Neglect or not? DCS study takes aim at CHINS statute

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The Indiana Lawyer


Katie Stancombe

It’s not uncommon for the Indiana Department of Child Services to hear it doesn’t have enough evidence to support its child welfare cases. Children in need of services cases that enter the court often leave shredded by judges for lack of a sufficient reasoning as to why they came before the bench without enough evidence […]

Proposed POPAI Bylaws Revisions


Troy Hatfield

Greetings POPAI Membership: According to the POPAI Bylaws, Article XIV AMENDMENTS These bylaws may be altered, amended or repealed by the membership if a quorum is present at any regular or special meeting. Written notice of any proposed alteration to the bylaws shall be submitted to the President of the Executive Board at least sixty (60) […]

The Legacy of Jane Seigel

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Indiana Court Times


Justin P. Forkner

“Legacy. What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” —Hamilton: An American Musical, by Lin-Manuel Miranda Jane Seigel officially retired on April 30, after 19 years of service to the Indiana Supreme Court. To Lin-Manuel Miranda’s point, the garden of reforms, outcomes, and initiatives Jane has planted will […]

John Legend and Rashad Robinson: End money bail now

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John Legend and Rashad Robinson

(CNN) – No one should have to stay in jail because they lack the money to buy their freedom. Yet every night, according to the Justice Department’s statistics, nearly 450,000 people who have not been convicted of a crime sit in jail, a large number trapped there simply because they don’t have enough money to post bail. […]

Bail reform’s complex relationship with tech

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Megan Rose Dickey

On any given day in the United States, more than 450,000 people are behind bars awaiting their constitutionally mandated fair trial. None of them have been convicted of a crime — they’ve been accused of committing a crime, but no formal ruling of guilt or innocence has been made. That means these hundreds of thousands […]

Bail-bond industry suffers another blow as Facebook and Google ban ads

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NBC News


Jon Schuppe

Google and Facebook, the world’s most dominant online-advertising companies, will no longer take money from America’s for-profit bail bond agencies, siding with a growing national movement to eliminate cash bail from the criminal justice system. The two tech giants said this week that their decisions to block bail-bond ads were part of a broader effort to […]

Applications Open for New Innovation Fund Grants

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There is tremendous local-level innovation occurring across the country aimed at reducing incarceration and making the criminal justice system more fair and effective at protecting communities. To support such innovative thinking nationwide, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has partnered with the Urban Institute to launch the Innovation Fund. The purpose of the Innovation Fund is to […]

2018 POPAI Elections – Time to Submit Intent to Run


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. Intent to Run Form The Intent to Run form must be sent to Melanie by July 6, 2018 (postmarked, emailed, […]

IU researchers release recommendations to combat Indiana’s opioid addictions crisis

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Indiana University


Indiana University

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — As the opioid crisis deepens across the country, researchers at Indiana University have released a series of research-driven, potential solutions. Their report is part of the university’s Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge initiative. The researchers call for broader and more robust harm-reduction strategies, programs to reduce the stigma of substance use […]

Ind. Supreme Court Case Illustrates Challenges With Juvenile Justice System

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WFYI Indianapolis


Barbara Brosher

The Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments Friday in a case that raises questions about what avenues juveniles have for seeking relief if they think their cases weren’t handled properly. The case illustrates larger challenges with Indiana’s juvenile justice system, because kids don’t have the same avenues for relief as adults in the criminal justice system. […]

Veterans court aims to help troubled vets in Howard County

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Eric Feldman

KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) — Some veterans in trouble with the law will have the chance to avoid jail time by participating in a new program to help steer their lives in the right direction. It’s called veterans court. It’s already being done in several places around the state, including Marion and Hamilton counties, but a […]

COA Remands for Clarification of Vague Probation Conditions

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Indiana Lawyer


Olivia Covington

The Vigo Superior Court must provide a man convicted of resisting and spitting on local law enforcement officers with a written list of his specific probation conditions after the Indiana Court of Appeals found discrepancies and vagueness in the conditions provided. In Dustin McCarty v. State of Indiana, 84A04-1707-CR-1599, a Terre Haute police officer encountered Dustin […]

Indiana 1st in Country to Use Software to Connect those with Addiction to Drug Treatment

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Indianapolis Star


Shari Rudavsky

Linking people with substance use disorders to the treatment they need to kick their addiction has just become easier in Indiana. The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Thursday announced a new partnership with a software platform that can help social workers find openings at treatment facilities. The partnership, funded by money from the 21st Century Cures […]

Missing: Criminal Justice Data

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New York Times


Amy Bach

Criminal justice data in this country is hard to come by. It can be messy and difficult to understand. And in many cases, the data doesn’t exist at all. How many people are in jail? For what crimes? For how long? Are people in jail mostly awaiting trial? Are they there for being unable to […]

Jobs around Indiana

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We currently have seven jobs posted on the POPAI website.  Positions are open in Ripley, Monroe, Lawrence, Jasper, Madison, Huntington, and Wayne Counties. The Indiana Association of Community Corrections Act Counties also has jobs posted on their website:  IACCAC Jobs. Please check out the job postings!

Indiana University launches Phase One projects for statewide addictions initiative

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Indiana University


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University School of Nursing Dean and Distinguished Professor Robin Newhouse has announced the Phase One projects of the Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenges initiative. As part of IU’s $50 million commitment to prevent, reduce and treat addictions in Indiana, initial pilot grants feature collaborative teams of faculty members, researchers, community organizations […]

Corrections board approves merger

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Kokomo Perspective

January 29, 2018

Devin Zimmerman

Probation, corrections merger hoped to help with caseload overload Big changes are in the works for the local judicial system. Last week the Howard County Community Corrections Advisory Board unanimously approved an agreement aimed at merging the local probation and community corrections department. With the probation department bogged down by high caseloads, officials hope the […]

With two inmates, Howard Co. work release center up and running

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Kokomo Tribune

January 25, 2018

George Myers

The Howard County work release center has accepted its first two inmates, bringing an end to months of anticipation and speculation about the much-debated program. The center, housed in the former county jail on Berkley Road, received its first inmate Wednesday and its second Thursday, and has already displayed, in a small way, the effect […]

Statewide symposium to address opioid crisis in rural Indiana

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Purdue University Agricultural Communications


Darrin Pack

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A consortium of eight Indiana agricultural and public health organizations will host a statewide symposium focusing on the significant impact of the opioid crisis in rural and farming communities. The symposium is scheduled for Jan. 5, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Boone County Fairgrounds, 1300 Hwy. 100 S, Lebanon. […]

Study: Poverty, jail time linked

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Sentinel & Enterprise


Sam Cote

Boston University Statehouse Program BOSTON — Consider this: You are fined as punishment for some offense. You can’t pay this fine and wind up in jail. Upon release you still don’t have the money to pay the fine or the means to avoid the behavior you were fined for in the first place. You are […]

Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Annual Evaluation of Indiana’s Criminal Code Reform

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Indiana Criminal Justice Institute


House Enrolled Act 1006 (HEA1006; July 1, 2014), also known as Public Law 168, mandates that the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) provide a comprehensive annual report of HEA1006’s impact on the Indiana criminal justice system. Annual reports in 2015 and 2016 were completed by the Sagamore Institute.  ICJI sought to build on the Sagamore […]

First Annual Justice Services Conference – CALL FOR PROPOSALS

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Indiana Office of Court Services


The Indiana Office of Court Services has announced the First Annual Justice Services Conference to be held on May 9th – 11th, 2018 at the Indiana Convention Center.  The conference will include all staff from Probation, Court Alcohol and Drug Programs and Problem-Solving Courts.  With the increased number of sessions being offered, they have opened […]

What To Make Of A Head-To-Head Test Of Addiction Treatments

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Jake Harper

Addiction specialists caution against reading too much into a new study released this week that compares two popular medications for opioid addiction. This much-anticipated research is the largest study so far to directly compare the widely used treatment Suboxone with relative newcomer Vivitrol. Researchers who compared the two drugs found them equally effective once treatment […]

To Save Opioid Addicts, This Experimental Court Is Ditching The Delays

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October 5, 2017

Eric Westervelt

There’s about 10 feet between Judge Craig Hannah’s courtroom bench and the place where a defendant stands to be arraigned here in Buffalo City Court. But for 26-year-old Caitlyn Stein, it has been a long, arduous 10 feet. “This is your first day back! Good to see you!” Judge Hannah says as he greets her. […]

How Harris County’s federal bail lawsuit spreads beyond Houston

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The Texas Tribune


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 […]

POST BAIL – America’s justice system runs on the exchange of money for freedom. Some say that’s unfair. But can data fix it?

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NBC News


Jon Schuppe

JERSEY CITY, N.J. ─ On the ground floor of a deteriorating county courthouse, in a room outfitted with temporary office furniture and tangles of electrical wires, a cornerstone of America’s criminal justice system is crumbling. A 20-year-old man in a green jail jumpsuit appears on a video monitor that faces a judge. It is early June, and he […]

Getting the Mentally Ill Out of Jails

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The Pew Charitable Trusts


Michael Ollove

A dearth of beds at state psychiatric hospitals in many parts of the country and shortages of mental health resources mean that mentally ill people who commit minor crimes often end up languishing in jails, which are poorly equipped to handle their illnesses. It’s a difficult problem that, without intervention, creates a grim cyclical pattern: […]

Indiana Courts Public Portal

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The Indiana Supreme Court has created a one-stop shop for public information and other tools. Using the Indiana Courts Public Portal ( you can quickly find links to search trial court cases (myCase) and protection orders. You will also find links to helpful tools such as a criminal sentence credit time calculator and child support […]

Information Sharing Guide

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Indiana Court Times


Court Times

Mobile app provides guidance on sharing children’s records Do you know how to obtain children’s educational, court, or health records? Do you know under what circumstances you can share these records with others? There is a mobile app to help you with these complex questions: the Information Sharing Guide. The Commission on Improving the Status […]

After Thousands Of Inmates Released Early, Probation Officers Will Be Watching

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November 3, 2015

Carrie Johnson

  Over the past few days, thousands of federal prisoners have been leaving confinement early and returning to their communities — the result of changes to sentencing guidelines for drug-related crimes. And who will be monitoring those former inmates? In some ways, the buck stops with Matthew Rowland. He’s the chief of the probation and […]

HEA 1006 Power Point from Probation Officer Regional Meetings

Indiana Judicial Center


At the Probation Officer Regional Meetings this year, the Indiana Judicial Center (IJC) presented information on HEA 1006 grant funding. The attached Power Point presented by IJC includes highlights, application tips, collaboration examples, and information about the grant requests coming out very shortly. Any questions should be directed to Jane Seigel, Jenny Bauer, and/or Mary […]

Professionals tackle the issue of juveniles in solitary

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Mary Kuhlman

Experts attending a conference in Phoenix, Arizona this week are saying “no more solitary confinement for kids.” The harm it causes, including deaths, is too great according to advocates at the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) 2015 Inter-Site Conference. JDAI programs are in place in 19 Indiana counties, with the goal of keeping kids out […]

States Predict Inmates’ Future Crimes with Secretive Surveys

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Associated Press


Eileen Sullivan & Ronnie Greene

LITTLE 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 […]