Indiana Chief Justice: Drug Crisis Flooding Courts, Welfare System

Full Article

Indy Star on January 13, 2016 by Rick Callahan, Associated Press

Indiana’s drug crisis is flooding the state’s courts with a growing number of cases and sending a surge of children into its welfare system, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush told a joint session of the legislature Wednesday.

During her second State of the Judiciary address, Rush said the court’s five members heard firsthand last year about the legal impact of drug abuse woes during visits with trial court judges in all 92 Indiana counties.

“They shared with us what became a recurring theme: the drug crisis, particularly heroin and methamphetamine, crippling their communities and flooding their courts,” she said.

Rush recalled Wayne Circuit Judge Dave Kolger saying that he sees heroin cases daily in his eastern Indiana courtroom but had handled only 20 in his previous two-decade career as a prosecutor.