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Study: Opioid crisis costs Indiana $11 million daily

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Daily Reporter on 05/14/2018

The economic impact to Indiana from opioid misuse is more than $4 billion annually, or about $11 million a day, according to a study published by a Columbus professor and an Indiana University student.

In Hancock County, the total cost over the 15-year study period — from 2003 to 2017 — was $500 million, the study said. Last year, the local cost was $53.9 million alone, they said.

Ryan Brewer, associate professor of finance at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus, and Kayla Freeman, a doctoral candidate in finance at the IU Kelley School of Business in Bloomington, studied the impact of the opioid crisis on state and local economies, the labor market and health care. Their study also includes recommendations for actions by state officials.

Man’s contempt order for bail violation reversed on appeal

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The Indiana Lawyer on 05/16/2018 by Dave Stafford

A northern Indiana trial court’s contempt order against a man who violated a condition of bail was an abuse of discretion, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday, reversing the order.

Cameron Hunter was released on bail pending criminal charges against him before Kosciusko Superior Judge David C. Cates. At a plea hearing, Hunter sought to postpone consideration of a guilty plea to determine if he was eligible for community corrections. The court continued the hearing and modified conditions of Hunter’s bail, specifying he was not to be around anyone younger than 18.

After Hunter left the courthouse with his girlfriend, his minor sister and a 16-year-old female, the state filed a petition, and after a hearing, the court determined Hunter was in contempt and ordered him to serve 180 days in jail.
A panel of the COA reversed in Cameron Hunter v. State of Indiana, 43A03-1711-CR-2633, finding the contempt order was an abuse of discretion because “Hunter’s conduct did not rise to the level of punishable criminal contempt” and didn’t affect the dignity or operation of the court, Judge L. Mark Bailey wrote for the panel.

“Hunter failed to comply with a condition of his bail. Under such circumstances, an appropriate remedy was to revoke bail — a remedy the State should have sought in accordance with the controlling statute,” the panel concluded.

In footnotes, the panel noted that in February it had granted Hunter’s motion for recognizance bond pending appeal and remanded for a hearing and determination on an appropriate bond. It also outlined the proper procedures for trial courts to follow in contempt proceedings and cautioned judicial officers to “exercise their extraordinary contempt powers with the utmost sense of responsibility and circumspection … and, in selecting contempt sanctions, exercise the least-possible power adequate to the end proposed.”

Applications Open for New Innovation Fund Grants

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on 05/01/2018

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 foster and support innovative ideas from local jurisdictions that are consistent with the goals of MacArthur’s Safety and Justice Challenge to reduce over-incarceration in America while maintaining or enhancing public safety, with a particular focus on addressing disproportionate justice impact on low-income individuals and communities of color. In 2017, 20 jurisdictions were selected to join the initial cohort of Innovation Fund participants.

To build on the momentum generated by the Innovation Fund work to date, MacArthur and Urban are announcing a second Innovation Fund competition. Innovation Fund sites will receive a grant of $50,000 and technical assistance and peer learning support in their efforts to rethink justice systems and implement data-driven strategies to safely reduce jail populations. Agencies, organizations, and other entities interested in applying for the Innovation Fund can access the program and grant application details at We will be hosting informational webinars on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 from 12:00pm-1:00pm ET or Thursday, June 7, 2018 from 1:00pm-2:00pm ET (registration required). Applications are due June 15, 2018.

Landis, longtime head of Public Defender Council, to retire in July

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The Indiana Lawyer on 5/2/2018 by Olivia Covington

Larry Landis, executive director of the Indiana Public Defender Council, spent his career improving public defense and protecting the rights of the accused. (IL Photo/Eric Learned)

Despite working on Indiana public defense reforms for 41 years, there are still goals Larry Landis wishes he could have accomplished before his impending retirement from the Indiana Public Defender Council. In a perfect world, Landis said his career would have led to more judicial sentencing discretion, a greater focus on mental health treatment, and a justice system that values restoration over punishment.

But a quick survey of people who have worked with Landis shows the retiring leader and creator of the Public Defender Council will be remembered for his accomplishments, not for the work he sees as left undone. Landis’ colleagues say his July 2 retirement will be a significant loss for the Indiana judicial and legislative branches, which have come to depend on his decades of knowledge and experience.

Bernice Corley

But Landis said he plans to stay involved in public defense work even after he leaves the PDC in the hands of his successor and current assistant executive director, Bernice Corley. Though he will no longer be the official face of Indiana public defense, the retiring executive director said as long as criminal defendants need someone to stand up for their rights, he’ll be around to be their advocate.

“It’s nice to see a guy be able to walk away from his life’s work when he’s been able to do what he really believes in and accomplished so much,” said Indianapolis criminal defense attorney David Hennessy.

Creating an identity

There’s never been a time when the Public Defender Council existed without Landis. He established the organization in 1977 and has been at its helm since. There have been numerous changes to Indiana’s public defense landscape during that time, chief among them a change in perception, Landis said.

In the early days of his career, public defenders generally described themselves as lawyers, sometimes indicating that they did criminal work — but never readily admitting they did public defense. Further, public defenders were generally employed by the judges they argued before, a system Hennessy said dampened public offenders’ effectiveness.

But that began to change with the creation of the council in 1977, and the Public Defender Commission in 1989, as well as the authorization of the creation of public defender offices in 1991, Landis said. Those organizations created a sense of identity and purpose among the state’s public defenders and ensured they were given a seat at the table to discuss policy changes, he said.

Professor and dean emeritus Norman Lefstein of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law considers the creation of the Public Defedner Commission to be among Landis’ greatest contributions to the Indiana legal profession. As a longtime commission chair, Lefstein said Landis’ expertise and knowledge about the state of public defense in each of Indiana’s counties were invaluable tools as the commission tried to implement statewide standards.

To Marion County Public Defender Robert Hill, the creation of those standards was the most significant accomplishment of Landis’ career. It’s common for public defenders to be asked to juggle very heavy caseloads, Hill said, but the commission’s standards have helped ensure defenders can serve the greatest number of litigants possible without sacrificing the quality of their work.

Legislative liaison

Aside from the creation of Indiana public defense organizations, Landis is perhaps best known for his legislative advocacy. Landis gave some of his most significant legislative input when he worked on criminal code reform in 1976, 1977 and 2014.

The 2014 revisions changed the nature of Indiana’s criminal justice system to focus less on an offender’s past and more on rehabilitation to avoid future recidivism, a system Landis has long advocated. Rep. Greg Steuerwald, the Avon Republican who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, said without Landis’ advocacy, the legislature may not have made the initial switch to a rehabilitation-based system.

“So much of the time the General Assembly is working on being tough on crime,” Steuerwald said. “But what was amazing about Larry was that he has not lost his passion. Even though he was many times fighting an uphill battle, he never wavered in his passion or from his perspective that we needed to take a look at what we were doing and what the effect would be.”

Even if legislators disagreed with Landis’ stance on an issue, Corley — who previously worked for the legislature as minority counsel — said she was often impressed by his ability to build bridges and bring the opposition to his side. Further, council legislative liaison Kristin Casper said she, along with lawmakers and Legislative Services Agency staffers, often marveled at Landis’ ability to read bills and extract the nuances of their implications.

Judicial impact

Landis’ statehouse advocacy also extended to the Supreme Court, which he assisted in the approval process for multiple Rules of Criminal Procedure. Chief Justice Loretta Rush specifically credited his work on Criminal Rule 25, which secures the right to counsel in juvenile delinquency proceedings, and Criminal Rule 26, which allows for pretrial release without requiring bail.

Landis’ strength in advocating for Criminal Rule 26 came from his belief in evidence-based decision-making to determine if an offender poses a substantial risk of flight or danger, Rush said. Landis also touted the introduction of evidence-based decision making as among his proudest accomplishments. And aside from the criminal rules the chief justice referenced, Landis said he was also proud of his work on Criminal Rule 24, which requires judges to appoint two qualified attorneys to represent indigent defendants facing the death penalty.

The chief justice also credited Landis for his participation with the Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana and his work on public access issues. When the court began looking at what documents should be publicly availably online, Landis was there to offer the perspective of defendants, she said.

“In my 20 years of being a judge, I don’t know if any person had a greater impact on the rights of the accused than Larry Landis,” Rush said.

The next phase

With his retirement two months away, Landis said he is beginning to evaluate the ways in which he will continue to advocate for criminal defendants. He currently sits on the commission by virtue of a Criminal Justice Institute appointment and on the Supreme Court’s evidence-based decision making pretrial working group — appointments he said he plans to keep.

As Landis winds down his time with the PDC, Corley is winding up to her first day as the organization’s head by planning for the two “buckets” of issues she wants to address. The first bucket heralds back to the initial perception issues Landis encountered in the 1970s and 1980s: changing the attitude that defenders are merely plea negotiators and not litigators. The second bucket will go more toward customer service by ensuring the PDC serves defenders effectively so that defenders can effectively serve their clients.

Landis is not shy in saying Corley will encounter many of the same challenges he faced along the way — namely, the slow pace of change in Indiana’s public defense landscape. Though that pace was often frustrating, Landis said he never abandoned the cause of defendants for one simple reason: “justice matters.”


Report Calls for Reforming Juvenile Probation

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Public News Service on 5/10/2018 by Andrea Sears, Public News Service - PA

HARRISBURG, Pa. – A new report says reforming probation practices for juveniles could increase their chances for success.

In the past 20 years, juvenile justice system reforms have led to far fewer young people being held in juvenile detention centers.

But the report from The Annie E. Casey Foundation says little has changed in the use of probation for young people.

According to Steve Bishop, senior associate at the AECF Juvenile Justice Strategy Group, probation is too often used as another form of punishment.

“The research that we have about adolescent development is pretty convincing that young people respond better to rewards, incentives, opportunities, experiences – things like that, that better motivate them – than the threat of punishment,” he points out.

The report recommends transforming juvenile probation from a system based on compliance and sanctions to one of incentives and individualized goals.

Pennsylvania has developed a Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy with an emphasis on family and community involvement.

John Cookus, an assistant professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, points out that relying on probation alone doesn’t work.

“Juvenile probation casts too wide a net, and it draws in youth who really don’t need to be there, and increases the volume of young people who get caught up in the system,” he states.

A 2014 study in Ohio found that low-risk young people placed on probation were 50 percent more likely to re-offend than those who weren’t placed on probation.

Bishop points out that recent research into adolescent brain development suggests taking juvenile justice practices in a new direction would enhance both community safety and the futures of young people.

“Reduce probation caseloads by diverting greater share of cases from juvenile court altogether,” he states, “and then refashioning probation into a more targeted, focused and effective intervention for the smaller population of youths that would remain on caseloads.”

The report notes that smaller caseloads let probation officers work more intensively with families and communities to help young people thrive.

Ind. Woman Admits Killing Young Mom and Taking Her Baby After Posing as Child Welfare Worker

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People on 5/8/18 by Jeff Truesdell

An Indiana woman has pleaded guilty and faces 30 years in prison for killing a young mother and then claiming the victim’s infant daughter as her own.

Prosecutors said Geraldine R. Jones, 39, murdered 23-year-old Samantha Fleming, of Anderson, after posing as an employee of the Indiana Department of Child Services and arriving at Fleming’s house on April 6, 2015, to allegedly take the mother and daughter to a court hearing, reports The Herald Bulletin.

After Fleming’s 21-year-old boyfriend reported her missing, police said the GPS on Fleming’s cell phone led them 11 days later to Jones’ residence in Gary, according to the Associated Press.

There, authorities located the missing 3-month old child, Serenity, in the care of Jones’ sister. She said she believed the infant belonged to her sister, who had abruptly left a week earlier to visit their mother in Texas, Indianapolis TV station WRTV reports

Samantha Fleming

Authorities acting on the sister’s complaint of a foul odor inside Jones’ residence searched the home and found Fleming’s body in a garbage bag inside a plastic storage bin and hidden in a closet, according to The Times of Northwest Indiana. The body had been stabbed 10 times and doused with bleach.

After accepting an offer from the Madison County Prosecutor’s Office, Jones pleaded guilty Friday to one count of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of criminal confinement for holding the mother and daughter against their wills, according to The Herald Bulletin, which first reported the plea.

Jones expects a punishment of 30 years in prison and 10 years of probation when she is sentenced on May 25, according to her defense attorney, Lisa DeLey, the AP reports.

The Plot
Neighbors told police that Jones had said she was pregnant before the child showed up, according to The Herald Bulletin. Police who encountered a furnished nursery in Jones’ home, complete with a crib and changing table, said Jones told family members that she was expecting twins, but forbade friends and family from visiting her in the hospital.

According to prosecutors, Jones called Fleming’s mother on April 4, 2015, and portrayed herself as an employee of the state child welfare department who needed to speak with Fleming about her child. After obtaining Fleming’s phone number and calling her, Jones showed up two days later at Fleming’s address carrying a binder of papers and dressed in business attire.

As Fleming readied to accompany Jones to an alleged court hearing, Jones said it would “look good” if Fleming brought the baby as well, according to court documents, The Herald Bulletin reports.

Later that day, a text message sent to her family members from Fleming’s phone read, “The judge said I don’t deserve my kid.” Investigators, however, could not find any record of a scheduled court date.

Fleming’s boyfriend reported her missing on April 10. Her body was discovered on April 17.

Settlement allows children to visit Allen County Jail inmates

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The Indiana Lawyer on 5/11/2018 by Dave Stafford

A settlement in a federal lawsuit ends a policy that prohibited Allen County Jail inmates from receiving visits from their children, among other agreed changes.

Settlement terms of the class action Ronald Ward and Samuel Chinnis v. David Gladieux, in his official capacity as Allen County Sheriff, 1:16-cv-99, end a complaint brought on behalf of inmates in 2016.

The suit alleged parents detained pretrial were forbidden under Allen County Jail policy from non-contact visitation with their children or with minor relatives, a policy that plaintiffs said served no reasonable or rational relation to security or penological interests of the jail. The suit claimed the practice violated detainees’ constitutional rights under the First and 14th Amendments and under Section 12, Article 1 and Section 9, Article 1 of the Indiana Constitution.

The settlement filed as a joint stipulation Wednesday in the U.S. Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne, lifts that policy barring minor visitation and revises those concerning mail and photos pretrial detainees may receive.

General terms of the settlement provide:

• Inmates will have the same privileges to visitation from their minor children or minor relatives as they have to visits from any non-restricted visitor.

• Inmates will be allowed to receive photos by mail and possess up to 10 photos that meet size and content restrictions specified in the settlement. Examples of restricted photos include those larger than 3-by-5 inches and those containing violent or gang images or those that are sexually suggestive. Inmates may not display photos in their cells. Photos must be kept in property bags. Any excess or nonconforming photos will be placed with the inmate’s property.

• Inmates may send and receive mail on yellow or white legal paper only. Any nonconforming stationery will be placed into the inmate’s property. Inmates  may keep up to 15 letters; any in excess will be placed with inmate’s property.

The settlement in the case filed by Fort Wayne civil rights lawyer David Frank calls for each party to pay its own legal fees.

2018 POPAI Elections – Time to Submit Intent to Run

on 05/09/2018

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.

Intent to Run Form

The Intent to Run form must be sent to Melanie by July 6, 2018 (postmarked, emailed, or faxed).  By August 6, 2018, Melanie will send out the election slate to the POPAI membership.

The election will be held during the POPAI Annual Meeting Thursday September 6, 2018 at the French Lick Springs Hotel.

Watch the POPAI web site for more details.  Questions?  Contact Melanie at (317) 327-3062 or

We hope to see you all at the 2018 POPAI Annual Meeting in French Lick.

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

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Indiana University on 04/26/2018 by 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 disorder, the creation of broader drug take-back programs, and more expansive “wraparound services” such as job training or housing assistance to support those recovering from substance use disorder. The researchers’ recommendations offer local, state and federal governments an array of strategies for mitigating the opioid addictions crisis, including:

  • Prioritize harm reduction: Communities should increase the availability of the overdose-reversal drug naloxone; encourage the work of syringe exchange programs; and support first responders by investing in safe spaces as a route to treatment.
  • Remove legal impediments that hold up effective responses: improve Indiana’s Good Samaritan and drug paraphernalia laws; better coordinate federal privacy law; and make it easier for those with substance use disorder to receive Medicaid services.
  • Invest in more and better evidence-based treatment services: pay for improved care coordination and wrap-around services such as safe housing; and make resources available to offer counseling, help those re-entering society, and care for children born with neonatal abstinence disease.

Remembering Judge Scheibenberger (Allen County)

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HONORABLE KENNETH ROBERT SCHEIBENBERGER, 69, of Fort Wayne, passed away on Wednesday, April 18, 2018.

Born on Sunday, Jan. 16, 1949, in Fort Wayne, he was a son of Robert G. Scheibenberger, who survives, and the late Marilyn J. (Rouch) Scheibenberger. He was a lifelong member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. He was a proud Concordia Cadet, received his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Indiana University. His contributions to the Fort Wayne Community were countless. His greatest legacy was being the founder of the Allen County Drug Court. His loves included his family, his German heritage and his music. The most joy came from being Opa. He was a founding member of the German Heritage Society, he was instrumental in creating a sister city relationship with Gera, Germany and currently the President of Germanfest. After his service to the Allen County Superior Court he cherished every day working with the Vice and Narcotics Division of the Fort Wayne Police Department. His presence in this world will be missed by all who truly knew him. He is also survived by his wife of 46 years, Susan G. Scheibenberger; daughter, Abigail (John) Heidenreich; daughter-in-law, Elizabeth (Zachary) Walker; grandchildren, Juliet Gayle Walker, Jaeger Kenneth Heidenreich, and Veronica Ann Walker; sisters, Melinda Smith, and Laura Hillyard; brother, Timothy (Rena) Scheibenberger. He was also preceded in death by his son, Samuel R. Scheibenberger; and daughter, Kathryn E. Scheibenberger. Funeral service is 11 a.m. Monday, April 23, 2018, at St Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1126 South Barr Street, Fort Wayne, with calling one hour prior. Calling also from 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday, April 22, 2018, at Hockemeyer & Miller Funeral Home, 6131 St. Joe Road, Fort Wayne. Burial will be in Concordia Cemetery Gardens, Fort Wayne. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to St Paul’s Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, or Vet Courts Drug Courts Work Inc., 116 East Berry St., Suite 500, Fort Wayne. For online condolences visit

Cuomo restores voting rights to all 35,000 parolees in New York

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NBC News on 4/18/2018 by Jane C. Timm

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that he was granting conditional pardons to every parolee in the state — 35,000 — to restore their voting rights.

Cuomo, facing a primary challenge from the left from actress and activist Cynthia Nixon, made an end-run around the state Legislature, where Republicans had stymied his effort.

In New York, the law bars felons on parole from voting and there are an estimated 35,000 in the state.

“I’m unwilling to take no for an answer,” he told the civil rights group National Action Network, as he ordered the state to consider conditional pardons for released felons monthly beginning in May.

Nixon said in a tweet hours after Cuomo’s announcement that their voting rights should have been restored years ago.

Felony disenfranchisement laws bar an estimated 6.1 million Americans — 2.5 percent of the nation’s voting-age population — from voting. These laws have a disproportionate affect on minorities, who are convicted of crimes at a higher rate than white Americans.

Cuomo’s office said 71 percent of the state’s parolees are minorities.

“It is unconscionable to deny voting rights to New Yorkers who have paid their debt and have re-entered society,” Cuomo said in a release.

New York joins 14 states and the District of Columbia in restoring ex-cons’ voting rights, the governor’s office said.

Twenty-one states disenfranchise voters during post-release periods like probation and parole as well, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. A dozen disenfranchise voters even after that, too. Maine and Vermont alone do not strip felons voting rights.

A slew of states have considered changing their felony disenfranchisement laws in recent years. New Jersey Democrats are pushing forward legislation on the issue and Florida voters will consider a ballot initiative in November to automatically restore the voting rights of certain felons after they complete their sentences, including probation and parole.

In Virginia, then-Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, started using executive orders to restore felons’ voting rights in 2016. According to the Sentencing Project, 24 states have expanded voting access for people with convictions in the last two decades.

In Texas, a woman was recently sentenced to five years in prison for voting while on supervised release; her attorney told NBC News she did not know she was breaking the law.

Novato (California) man ascends from drug court to law school

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Marin Independent Journal on 4/22/2018 by Gary Klien

Novato resident Michael Fielding waits for his drug court graduation ceremony on April 16 at the county courthouse in San Rafael. In August, he will start as a law student at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. (Robert Tong/Marin Independent Journal)

In Marin County’s drug court, failure is common and disastrous, while success is measured in relatively modest terms: steady employment, sobriety, abstinence from crime.

Michael Fielding took the success concept to a higher level. He got himself admitted to law school on a full scholarship.

Fielding, who graduated from the drug court program last week after 13 months, said his advice for drug defendants is simple: “Tell the truth.”

“Sometimes it’s the only thing you can control,” said Fielding, 26, of Novato. “You have to be able to trust yourself, and the way you do that is through spoken truth.”

Fielding’s legal problems started in February 2017 with a pair of arrests for drug possession and allegedly driving under the influence of drugs. One of the incidents was a rear-end collision that caused minor injuries in the other car.

Fielding spent 117 days in jail and entered the drug court program. The strict regime involves regular court appearances, substance abuse treatment, counseling, random drug testing and other obligations.

Those who fulfill the program’s requirements, a process that takes about a year to 18 months, can get felony charges reduced and outstanding jail time waived. Those who fail get funneled back into the regular criminal justice pipeline.

The drug court accepts about 40 to 45 defendants a year, said D.J. Pierce, a supervisor with the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services. The completion rate for the 2013-17 period was 46 percent, she said, on the low end of the national average range. Just a few defendants have graduated so far this year.

The program is partially funded by federal grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Marin’s latest grant is for $322,000 a year for three years, Pierce said.

The drug court includes a judge, a prosecutor, a public defender, a probation officer, a psychologist and a manager from the county health department. Judge Andrew Sweet has been presiding over the court in recent years.

Drug court proceedings can be lively events, with participants cheering each other in support. But sometimes a defendant gets caught in a lie or a program violation and gets tossed back in jail on the spot.

“It’s a tough program,” said Deborah Lewis, the public defender assigned to the court. “You have a lot of people who know your business.”

Fielding’s performance in the program got his felony for intoxicated driving reduced to a misdemeanor, said prosecutor Nicole Pantaleo. She also dismissed two misdemeanor drug possession counts.

Moreover, the remaining 233 days on Fielding’s jail sentence were dismissed, and his probation period was reduced from five years to three.

Pantaleo described Fielding as “extremely humble” as well as “contemplative, serious, remorseful, insightful and mature.” She said his law school admission is an “incredible achievement.”

“My opinion is that everyone who graduates and remains sober and crime-free has a major achievement,” she said. “For some people, just remaining sober and staying employed is an incredible accomplishment.”

Fielding, who was a sociology major at Chico State University and has family in the legal sector, said he made up his mind to pursue law school during his time in jail. He started reading books such as “Crime and Punishment,” by Fyodor Dostoevsky; “In Cold Blood,” by Truman Capote; and “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” by Michelle Alexander.

He took the Law School Admission Test while he was in the drug court program and says he scored a “pretty solid” 152. The score range is 120 to 180.

Then he applied to law schools. Anthony Niedwiecki, dean of the law school at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, said the staff was impressed by Fielding’s personal story as well as his grades.

The school not only accepted Fielding but waived his tuition. Niedwiecki said the school gets about 1,400 applications a year, accepts about half the applicants and grants full scholarships to just a “small percentage.”

“We’re a school that likes to give opportunities to people, and he fits the type of student we’d like to give that opportunity to,” Niedwiecki said. “You want to look for people who take an experience, learn from than experience and use it in a positive way.”

Fielding will start at the law school in August. In the meantime, he is doing preparatory reading between his shifts at a grocery store in Novato.

Fielding credited his family’s emotional and financial support for getting him through the court program and on his way into law school. He hopes to practice criminal law, perhaps even as a prosecutor, and says landing in jail “saved my life.”

“Sometimes sending people to jail is the wakeup call they need,” he said.

Ind. Supreme Court Case Illustrates Challenges With Juvenile Justice System

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WFYI Indianapolis on 04/20/2018 by 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.

Court documents say police took the juvenile, J.W., into custody last year for false informing and delinquency after he gave them and hospital personnel his brother’s name and age when he was treated for attempting suicide.

During the teen’s first court date, his attorney told the judge the juvenile was waiving his right to an initial hearing and admitting to the false informing count. The judge ordered the child be placed at Delaware County Juvenile Detention Center.

When an adult pleads guilty to criminal charges, the adult can’t file an appeal. Attorneys for each side disagree on whether the same rule applies to juveniles.