Legislative Updates 2021

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Time is Running Short for Submitting Applications for the Knepple Scholarship

Submit your application to be considered for the 2021 Donald “Charley” Knepple Scholarship Award on or before 12:00 noon EST on Monday, March 29, 2021. The winner will be announced at the 2021 Annual Indiana Probation Officers Conference in April.

The qualified candidate chosen for the Scholarship Award will receive $2,500.00 to help pay for their costs in continuing his or her education pursuing a Masters / Doctorate Degree.

Past winners include

Details and application download

Online addiction recovery meetings help thousands stay sober during pandemic

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WTOL on 3/15/2021 by Roxanne Elias

Richie Webber, the director of Fight for Recovery, says he saw people struggling to stay sober when everything shut down during COVID.

TOLEDO, Ohio — An online addiction recovery meeting series is paving the way for a successful road to living drug-free.

It started as an idea about a year ago and has reached thousands of people wanting to get sober.

Cynthia Beneteau, a mother of three, says it’s helped her stay sober for 14 months. This is after she started on the road to drug recovery right as the pandemic hit.

Distinguished Tippecanoe County probation officer to retire after 43 years

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Journal & Courier on 3/15/2021

Joe Hooker

After 43 years as a distinguished Tippecanoe probation officer, Joe Hooker will retire later this month.

Hooker, who began his career as a probation officer on Jan. 3, 1978, will retire March 31.

Among his accomplishments, Hooker worked with David Kuebler in 1988 to establish the Tippecanoe County Community Corrections Program and served three terms as the chairman of the advisory board.

Later named Corrections Manager of the Year in 1993 by the Indiana Correction Association, he served as the Chief Probation Officer in Tippecanoe County for 11 years; three terms as the District Six representative for the Probation Officer Advisory Board and two terms as the Chairman; three years on the Indiana State Legislative Study Committee on Probation; and has been a member of POPAI since 1987 and served on the POPAI board.

Hooker’s caseload consisted of high/moderate risk clients, including sex offenders.

In 2011, Joe received the Order of Augustus Award, and in 2015 he received the POPAI Founders Award.

Heavily involved as a volunteer and board member of the SURF Center, a local not-for-profit agency that provides twelve-step programs for alcohol and drug users, Hooker is also a musician and has performed in the free summer concert series with the Purdue Alumni Band.

In the March Board Meeting, Joe was unanimously approved for POPAI Life Membership. He will receive official notification on April 1.

New Program to Help Formerly Incarcerated

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Inside Indiana Business on 3/15/2021 by Alex Brown

BLOOMINGTON – A nonprofit entrepreneurship center in Bloomington has launched a program designed to support formerly incarcerated individuals as they develop their business ideas. The Mill says ReBoot was inspired by the Indy Chamber’s ReEntry Entrepreneurship Development Initiative and takes participants through a six-week process of business development that culminates with a demo night pitch competition. Andy Lehman, head of accelerator programming at The Mill, says the program not only grows the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bloomington, but opens it to a wider group of people.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Lehman said the ecosystem doesn’t have to just be comprised of students, startups and those who are traditionally inclined to start a business.

“There are a lot of folks in our community who have great ideas and just need the support and somebody to say, ‘Yes, we will help you,'” said Lehman. “Traditionally, I think that the formerly incarcerated population is one where it’s difficult to get a lot of folks to say yes.”

State data shows hundreds of Indiana students are arrested on school property every year

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Fox 59 on 2/23/2021 by Kelly Reinke

INDIANAPOLIS – School fights. Being extremely disruptive in class. Disorderly conduct. These are all things that land Indiana students in trouble. They can face several forms of discipline like suspension or expulsion. But some experts are raising concerns about the number of students getting arrested on school property.

The Indiana Department of Education recorded more than 1,200 arrests on school property during the 2018-2019 academic year. Several districts each reported dozens of arrests.

Under Indiana code, school corporations are required to report the number of arrests of students on school property, offences for which students were arrested and statistics concerning the age, race and gender of students arrested on school corporation property.

“Sometimes arrest is the only option to get kids help because the resources don’t exist before that or the path to get them resources is not clear enough to the police officer,” said Chase Lyday, president of the Indiana School Resource Officer Association.

Public Employees’ Use of Personal Phones, Tablets Puts Local Governments at Risk

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Route Fifty on 2/24/2021 by Andrea Noble

A cybersecurity report found that 25% of state and local government employees use personal digital devices to telework while only 9% of federal employees do so.

Nearly a quarter of state and local government employees use personal phones and tablets for work, putting them at higher risk for phishing attacks and other cyber intrusions, according to a new cybersecurity report.

Local governments have battled an onslaught of ransomware attacks and cybersecurity threats in recent years, including this month’s breach of a water treatment plant in Florida. But as government employees shifted to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic, the report from mobile security firm Lookout highlights one way that telework can put agencies at greater risk.

Where the Economy Tanks, Heart Attack Deaths Rise

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Route Fifty on 3/1/2021 by Sameed Khatana

COMMENTARY | The diverging economic fortunes of different parts of the country in the period after the 2008-2009 recession is linked to differing death rates from heart disease and stroke among middle-aged Americans, researchers report.

As the federal government debates the financial stimulus needed to address the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the last recession offers an important reminder of the long-term health effects of a slow and uneven recovery.

As large parts of the US—particularly rural areas—failed to fully recover economically following the Great Recession, they experienced markedly different health fortunes from areas that experienced a robust recovery.

If the pandemic exacerbates these economic trends, the US may be left with an even greater disparity in the health and well-being of Americans living in different parts of the country.

This New Advancement in Interpreting DNA Evidence Could be a Game Changer

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Route Fifty on 2/24/2021 by Bruce Budowle

COMMENTARY | Probabilistic genotyping software has helped forensic labs close more cases and exonerate individuals wrongly accused of a crime.

The development and implementation of forensic DNA typing more than 30 years ago has been a boon to law enforcement, the judicial system and society. The unprecedented expansion of biological evidence that now can be analyzed has led to more arrests, convictions, exonerations and re-openings of cold cases. This success, though, has created an increased demand and additional focus on processing more challenging samples to assist investigations.

Once homeless, this former foster youth is advocating for change within Indiana DCS

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Indianapolis Star on 3/2/2021 by Holly V. Hays

Dejuna Rodriguez was 14 when she first became homeless.

She didn’t say much about what led to it, just that a lot of things happened in her childhood that she didn’t understand. That, looking back, her mom — who could at times be abusive — didn’t always have the tools to parent her and her siblings.

Now 22, Rodriguez spent years cycling in and out of the child welfare system, in home placements and at residential facilities. She felt lost, otherized — like she’d been put in a box because of her past, which she couldn’t control. As if no one saw her as a whole person, just a file in a series of thousands of kids in foster care.

It would’ve been easy to give up on those around her. And, for a time, she did. But she never gave up on herself.

States Fail to Prioritize Homeless People for Vaccines

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Route Fifty on 3/1/2021 by Lindsey Van Ness

At least 20 states haven’t included homeless shelters in vaccine plans.

Frank Galloway falls into the most vulnerable categories for COVID-19: He is 87, he is Black, and he is experiencing homelessness.

“It ain’t no joke,” Galloway said of the coronavirus, which has killed some of his friends in Greensboro, North Carolina. “I don’t mind taking something that will help my life to keep going.”

He’s waiting for a vaccine while staying in an emergency shelter. Although the state began vaccinating people age 65 and up in mid-January, Galloway, like many others without housing, doesn’t have access to the technology and transportation that people in many places need to get a shot.

2 Free APPA Webinars: Lessons Learned – Using Mobile Technology During a Global Pandemic and Officer Safety, Wellness, and Leadership in the 21st Century: Tools, Strategies, and Solutions

APPA

APPA is offering two free webinars.

Officer Safety, Wellness, and Leadership in the 21st Century: Tools, Strategies, and Solutions

When: Thursday, March 11, 2021 · 10:00:00 AM · Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Duration: 1 hour
https://www.bigmarker.com/appa-webinars/Officer-Safety-Wellness-and-Leadership-in-the-21st-Century-Tools-Strategies-and-Solutions

Lessons Learned – Using Mobile Technology During a Global Pandemic

When: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 · 03:00:00 PM · Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Duration: 1 hour
https://www.bigmarker.com/appa-webinars/Lessons-Learned-Using-Mobile-Technology-During-a-Global-Pandemic

‘The system needs overhaul’ | Indiana prosecutor puts himself on probation to expose breakdowns in the criminal justice system

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WHAS on 2/26/2021 by Shay McAlister, Jackelyn Jorgensen

Harrison County Prosecutor Otto Schalk signed up for probation in an attempt to expose the breakdowns plaguing the criminal justice system in his community.

HARRISON COUNTY, Ind. — The Indiana Constitution mandates that the criminal justice system is built upon reformation, including opportunities for defendants to chose a better path forward.

But, are the penalties helping or hurting?

“Ten years of prosecuting has really changed my opinion on a lot of things,” Prosecutor Otto Schalk said.

For the last decade, Schalk has served as prosecutor in rural Harrison County, Indiana. During that time, he’s realized how decisions he makes as prosecutor can have long-lasting impacts on those working their way through the system.

Juvenile justice bill passes in Indiana Senate, advances to House

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Chicago Tribune on 2/24/2021 by Alexandra Kukulka

A juvenile justice bill that addresses expunging records, detaining young offenders and competency passed out of the state Senate Tuesday, and heads to the House for consideration.

The bill, authored by Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogeden Dunes, allows for automatic expungement of juvenile records, unless the child commits a felony, and a court has discretion in determining if the record should be expunged.

“This is important to keep poorer kids from accumulating a criminal record,” Tallian said on the Senate floor Tuesday.

The second part of the bill prohibits juveniles from being held with adult inmates as they await trial, though there are exceptions that would place a minor in an adult facility.

Indiana man rescued after 3 days lost inside a storm drain

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Indianapolis Star on 3/5/2021 by Lawrence Andrea

Mar 5, 2021 CONNERSVILLE — An eastern Indiana man who became lost after entering a storm drain to avoid his probation officer was rescued early Friday after spending at least three days in the chilly drainage system, police said a Connersville police officer heard the 35-year-old man crying for help about 2 a.m. Friday and followed his cries to where the man was below ground in the drain, police said.

Firefighters and emergency medical personnel later pulled the man through a manhole in the middle of a street.

Connersville’s assistant fire chief, Nate Stevens, told The Indianapolis Star the man had become lost in the dark of the storm sewer beneath the city about 50 miles east of Indianapolis.

Fire department personnel reported the man was found wearing pajama pants and a sweatshirt when he was rescued, and a police report states that he was “shaking violently” after his ordeal.

Nighttime temperatures in the area fell below freezing over the last few days, according to the National Weather Service.

After the man was taken to a hospital, he told police he entered the drainage system “at least three days” prior near the Whitewater River, about a quarter-mile from where he was found.

The man, who was convicted in 2019 of dealing methamphetamine, told officers he “entered the pipe because he was running from his probation officer.”

The probation officer told officers he had reached out to the man Monday “only to verify his address.”