Legislative Updates 2021

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Remembering Donald R. “Charley” Knepple

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charley KneppleProbation Officer Donald Knepple was shot and killed on April 28, 1997 after being ambushed by a man at a counseling center on South Calhoun Street in Fort Wayne.

The suspect, a former juvenile corrections officer who had been convicted of attempted child molestation, had arranged a meeting with his counselor and Probation Officer Knepple with the intent of murdering them both. As the meeting took place at about 10:00 am, the suspect fatally shot both of them in the head before he fled to the rear of the center and committed suicide. At the time of the incident Probation Officer Knepple, like other officers in his department, were not armed.

Probation Officer Knepple had served with the Allen County Adult Probation Department for 12 years. He was a US Army veteran of the Vietnam War and an Air National Guard reservist. Probation Officer Knepple was survived by his wife, 16-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter.

Open Conversations: Racism and Racial Injustice

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Indiana Court Times on 3/22/2021 by David Kuhnz, Staff Attorney | Office of Communication, Education & Outreach

With a national spotlight on the importance of equity and inclusion, the legal community is among those entities taking a hard look at its own practices. The Indiana State Bar Association has been moved to effectuate change, inspire action, and take decisive steps to communicate and listen to the experiences of others.

One such call to action led to the creation of Open Conversations, a groundbreaking, year-long series of candid dialogue and introspection about race and culture in the legal landscape. This partnership between the Indiana State Bar Association, Indiana Supreme Court, and many of the state’s diverse legal institutions and associations is the first of its kind. Justice Steven David and Marion County Public Defender Agency attorney Angka Hinshaw have joined forces to lead the conversations as cohosts. With different perspectives, they embark on a journey to engage in frank and honest dialogue, and ultimately work toward expanding the legal community.

Carmen Maria Rodriguez March 5, 1963 – April 19, 2021

by APPA

Carmen Maria Rodriguez
March 5, 1963 – April 19, 2021

APPA distributed Carmen’s Obituary and additional thoughts in an email to it’s membership:

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of our friend and longtime Board Member, Carmen Maria Rodriguez (Melendez). After a heroic battle with cancer, Carmen passed away early Sunday, April 18, with her family by her side. We are thankful for the passion she carried in her heart for APPA. She served as a Board Member for over 20 years – serving 18 of those years as a member of the executive committee. Carmen’s Board involvement included positions such as President, President-Elect, Vice President, Regional Representative, and Committee Chair. We are forever grateful for her outstanding commitment, support, and energy. She will be greatly missed by the APPA family, colleagues, and the community corrections industry. During APPA’s 46th Annual Training Institute, the Member of the Year Award will be renamed the Carmen Rodriguez Member of the Year Award in her memory. Carmen was rock solid and the true epitome of a volunteer – giving of her time and talents to APPA for more than 30 years.

In January 2020, Carmen retired after serving 33 years as an employee of the Cook County Adult Probation Department in Chicago, IL. Carmen joined Cook County in 1987 as a probation officer, and in 1989 she became a Training Specialist. Her intense training prowess led her to starting a private training business in 2001 under the name of Rodriguez & Associates. Her training sessions on topics like “happiness” and “diversity” became some of the most enjoyable and well attended workshops at APPA’s training institutes.

Visitation for our beloved colleague and friend will be held on Wednesday, April 21, and Thursday, April 22, 2021 from 3:00-9:00 PM at Colonial-Wojciechowski Funeral Home, 8025 W. Golf Road in Niles, Illinois. The funeral will take place Friday, April 23 – prayers will begin at 10:00 AM at the funeral home, and the funeral mass will follow at St. Isaac Jogues Church at 11:00 AM. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the funeral service and interment will be private.

We will forever keep the fond memories of Carmen in our hearts and minds. She was so giving and steadfast in all of her connections both at home and away. We cherish her gift to APPA and we are reminded that what she did in between the dash (–) of her life to enrich the lives of others was important. How fortunate are we that our paths crossed with this special person who had such a warm, cheerful, and giving spirit.

In Love,

Veronica Cunningham
Executive Director

Tim Hardy
President

Remote or Not…It’s Still a Court Proceeding

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Indiana Court Times on 3/29/2021 by Adrienne Meiring, Counsel | Judicial Qualifications Commission

The past year has provided a number of unprecedented challenges for the judiciary, which has allowed the court system to demonstrate its adaptability and innovation to keep the wheels of justice moving. With the advent of video-conference hearings and court proceedings being livestreamed, parties and witnesses may participate in proceedings from a remote location, which promotes citizen and employee safety and gives more people an opportunity to see courts in action.

And people are indeed tuning in—perhaps in greater numbers than before the pandemic. Now more than ever, it’s important for judges to remember that despite the less-formal feel of remote hearings, these are still court proceedings, and judges continue to have ethical obligations during them to maintain public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary (R. 1.2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct); to require order and decorum in proceedings (R. 2.8(A)); and to behave in a patient, dignified, and courteous manner (R. 2.8(B)).

Indianapolis opens grant applications for communities hardest hit by coronavirus pandemic

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Indianapolis Star on 4/6/2021 by Amelia Pak-Harvey

Indianapolis is encouraging community organizations to submit applications for $1 million available for projects that promote the recovery of communities hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact.

The funding, provided in partnership with Resolve to Save Lives, is part of the city’s efforts to curb the impact of the pandemic in areas of the county that have been the most strongly impacted by the pandemic — most notably communities of color.

Applications are due by April 30, with awards to be announced May 14. Organizations can visit http://marionhealth.org/communityrecoverygrant/.

EXiT Briefs

EXiT Member Newsletter

The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center released a brief to highlight how probation and parole officers can prioritize safe, affordable, and permanent housing support for people with behavioral health needs. You can read the full report by downloading this pdf.

The Center Statistics Project (CSP) of the National Center for State Courts released a Pandemic Caseload Highlights brief to illustrate how the pandemic affected court operations and caseloads. You can learn more and access the report by downloading this pdf.

POPAI Board Seeks Applications for Vice President due by April 30, 2021

On April 14, 2021, Adam McQueen, Assistant Chief Probation Officer of Wayne County and the President of the Probation Officers Professional Association of Indiana (POPAI), announced to the Executive Board that he is resigning as President of POPAI, effective April 14, 2021.  Adam served as POPAI’s President for the last four years.

The POPAI By-laws state, under Article VI, H. Vacancies, Section 1: Should a vacancy occur in the office of President, the Vice-President shall assume the office.

The now former POPAI Vice President Troy Hatfield assumed the office of POPAI President as of April 14, 2021. Mr. Hatfield is the Deputy Chief Probation Officer of Monroe County.

Article VI, H. Vacancies, Section 2 states that all other vacancies of the Executive Board shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining membership of the Executive Board if the vacancy occurs more than 120 days before the term of office for that position expires.  The Executive Board shall provide written notice to the membership of the vacancy and shall accept applications to fill the vacancy for no less than fifteen (15) calendar days before voting.

In accordance with the Bylaws, POPAI now seeks to fill the vacancy of Vice President. Applicants who wish to serve as POPAI Vice President must submit the completed POPAI Intent to Run form via email to Heather Malone at Heather.Malone@huntington.in.us by 12:00pm on Friday, April 30, 2021.

Bridging Disparities in Probation and Parole by Ensuring Food and Health Access

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EXiT on 4/6/2021

Join the Columbia Justice Lab and Executives Transforming Probation and Parole (EXiT) on April 14 from 2:30-4:00 p.m. EDT for a webinar about how changes to probation and parole during the COVID-19 pandemic can transform into long-term reform.

“Bridging Disparities in Probation and Parole by Ensuring Food and Health Access” is the second of two webinars in a series on COVID-19 reforms. The webinar will highlight examples of jurisdictions that have expanded community-based supports during the pandemic — to address issues of food security and health access for justice-involved people.

Hear from probation and parole professionals and government officials discussing how these “emergency” changes and innovations can inform what a post-pandemic probation and parole system could look like if it is rooted in community support. Speakers will include Stephen Cacace, Director of the NYC Probation Community Resource Unit; Jordan Stockdale, Executive Director of the Young Men’s Initiative in New York City; Liv Jenssen, Manager of Transition Services for Multnomah County Department of Community Justice; and Ederlinda Ortiz, WOC COVID-19 Quality & Compliance Coordinator – Corrections Health, Multnomah County, Oregon.

Register to attend at http://bit.ly/4-14COVIDWebinar.

Indiana gets $60.8M to support vaccines in underserved populations

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Herald Times on 4/6/2021 by Shari Rudavsky USA Today Network

Indiana will receive about $60.8 million in federal funds aimed at expanding vaccination equity, according to a news release from the Centers for Disease Control.

The funds will be used with an eye to encouraging vaccination and ensuring equity and access to vaccines for communities that COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted. The money will help programs such as door-to-door outreach to raise awareness about vaccinations or help people sign up to be vaccinated.

The money is part of a $3 billion purse distributed among 64 jurisdictions.

New study examines impact of COVID-19 on Indiana jails

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Journal Review on 4/2/2021

INDIANAPOLIS — A new study from the Center for Health and Justice Research at the IU Public Policy Institute found that changes made in 2020 due to COVID-19 reduced jail populations across Indiana may have long-term impacts on jail operations.

CHJR researchers examined jail populations in 19 Indiana counties—La Porte, St. Joseph, Starke, Pulaski, Whitley, Tippecanoe, Clinton, Montgomery, Boone, Hamilton, Putnam, Clay, Hendricks, Hancock, Knox, Jackson, Washington, Dearborn, and Perry—from February 2020 through June 2020.

The study found that jail populations in Indiana generally fell at a quicker rate and remained lower than regional and national averages yet varied widely from county to county. Overall, jail populations in Indiana fell 32% during the first part of the pandemic—compared to 27% nationally—before increasing 3% by the end of June.

A Fresh Start

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Indiana Court Times on 3/22/2021 by St. Joseph County Judge Andre Gammage

According to a database of laws compiled by the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section, “collateral consequences” all too often regulate the lives of people with criminal records, dictating where they work, where and with whom they live, and how they spend their time. As a result, after they have served their sentences, and long after they have finished probation or parole, people with misdemeanor and felony convictions remain effectively imprisoned.

In 2013, Indiana enacted an expungement statute that provided a path for eligible citizens to have convictions expunged, so long as their sentence has been completed and requisite time has passed. The statute also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person who has obtained such an expungement. However, most people in need of an expungement find the statute difficult to navigate.

My cousin (Keith Gammage), Solicitor General of Fulton County, Georgia, initiated an expungement effort and described it as an opportunity for families. I felt it was my responsibility to lead a similar initiative in my own county and bring about the opportunity intended by the statute—to allow justice to be served in an unconventional way and oblige those who could not partake in it because of their economic status.

On-Site Video Legal Services: Innovations in Lawrence Township Small Claims Court

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Indiana Court Times

Three rooms with videoconferencing tools dedicated to free legal services are available directly off of Judge Kimberly Bacon’s courtroom.

Virtual courtroom

The Technology Working Group envisioned enabling remote appearance by video during the first meeting on November 4, 2019. Judge Bacon offered to pilot a virtual courtroom—quite a novel concept in the pre-pandemic era.

Lawrence Township has several meeting rooms, stemming off of the courtroom, where opposing parties can discuss a settlement of their dispute. To accommodate one of the parties appearing by video, these meeting rooms were equipped with videoconference equipment, allowing a party on site to meet with an off-site party. This ensures that the parties can still confer and perhaps settle their case, even if one party is remote.

Even though the pandemic caused all the court’s hearings to be virtual, participants sometimes arrive for their hearing in person, either unaware that the courtroom is closed to maintain social distancing or because they are unable to connect by video from home. Many in the community do not have access to reliable broadband and may have limited minutes to use on their phone. However, the participants can attend the hearing by video from the court’s own meeting room, with socially-distanced help from court staff.

LHS Basketball Coach Steve Bradley Receives Transformation Coach Award

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WSCH

Steve Bradley

Lawrenceburg, Ind. – Steve Bradley is being recognized for his many years of contribution to the Lawrenceburg High School boys basketball program.

The Indiana Basketball Coaches Association announced Monday that four Indiana high school basketball coaches will receive Point Guard College Transformational Coach Awards.

Coach Bradley was nominated for the award by current Lawrenceburg varsity head coach Brad Cutter.

Bradley has had a major impact on the Tigers program, serving as and assistant and the freshman boys coach for 26 seasons.

““Steve’s greatest quality is that he always finds a way for every player to help the team,” said Cutter. “Steve is great at coaching each player individually and focusing on how to make it a positive experience for them. His positive approach and love for coaching our student-athletes is contagious. He is great at finding the good things from a defeat and the good things from a player who may not be able to contribute as much as another.”

Before Bradley got his start in coaching, he was an athlete himself. A 1983 graduate of Lawrenceburg, Bradley earned two letters in basketball, two letters in football, four letters in golf and one letter in baseball.

He went on to play quarterback at Davidson College, where he ranks 10th in school history for completions.

His competitive nature is something his players feel when in his presence.

“Coach Bradley has impacted multiple generations of student-athletes in our community,” said Aaron Cornett, former Lawrenceburg athlete and now a parent of current Lawrenceburg athletes. “As a 16-year-old, I noticed the intensity and competitiveness that he brought to our practices. It was easy to see how he cared for the team by pushing each player to become better through hard work and positive reinforcement.”

Aside from coaching, Bradley has spent the last 30 years working as a probation officer in Dearborn County.

COVID-19 vaccination expands in Indiana

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Indiana State Department of Health on 03/31/2021 by Indiana State Department of Health

Anyone age 16 and older may now schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment. Click here to register or call 211 (866-211-9966) if you do not have access to a computer or need assistance.

When you enter a ZIP code to search for a vaccination site, you will find several vaccination locations near you. The site’s information will include which vaccine is likely available at the site (excludes sites in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program other than Walmart). You can click “Find Next Available” to get to the soonest date and time. Zoom out on the map to expand your search. If you don’t see the vaccination site you’re looking for, it’s possible that all appointments are full.

Please note that anyone younger than 18 must receive the Pfizer vaccine. It is the only vaccine to receive Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA for that age group. Proof of age will be required at the time of vaccination.

Received the vaccine? Make sure you sign up for the v-safe after vaccination health checker.