Criminal Justice

Criminal Code Bill Faces Funding Issues

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The author of legislation overhauling the state’s criminal code says perhaps the biggest issue remaining is how to pay for it at the local level.  And as Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports, that issue likely won’t be settled this session:

The criminal code revision bill is aimed at increasing the penalties for more serious offenses while reducing sentences for lower-level, first time crimes, particularly drug offenses.  The intent is to focus more on rehabilitation and reducing recidivism.  Shifting that focus will result in a higher cost burden on local community corrections and probation services.  Danville Republican Representative Greg Steuerwald, the bill’s author, says determining how much that shift will cost is the biggest job left, in part because there are so many variables:

“What the DOC population is going to be reduced or not and then also to quantify what these programs cost at the local level in order to deal with these people.”

The bill, if passed, will not take effect until the summer of 2014, allowing the legislature to study the funding issue and other concerns over the rest of 2013 before resolving them next session.  For Indiana Public Broadcasting, I’m Brandon Smith.


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