Indiana Criminal Code Revision Costs Revealed
December 20, 2013 — By Brandon Smith, IPBS
Lawmakers finally have a dollar amount to work with when it comes to paying for the overhaul of Indiana’s criminal code. .. and how much local communities will need to improve rehabilitation and probation services:
Indiana’s criminal code reform is meant, in part, to move low-level offenders away from prison to local community corrections programs. That shift is aimed at helping reduce recidivism by focusing more on rehabilitation. But the great unknown for months has been how much the state will need to increase funding at the local level to accommodate the shift. Lawmakers went to an outside research firm for an answer…and American Institutes for Research analyst Roger Jarjoura says the state needs to direct an additional 10 and a half million dollars a year to local programs:
“We’re adding to their capacity and in every community, it’s going to look a little bit different. For some, it’s going to be about bringing new programs in; for some it’s going to be adding to their probation staff.”
Bloomington Democratic Representative Matt Pierce says he was surprised that number wasn’t higher…and Jarjoura admits his estimate is conservative. But Pierce says even if programs do need more money in the long term, it’s important to get the ball rolling now:
“I’m convinced that, as the programs get in place, there’s going to be really tremendous success with them and we’re going to see a lot less recidivism – meaning a lot less people coming back into the criminal justice system, which is going to save us lots of money.”
Jarjoura says a study conducted in Marion County showed that every one percent drop in recidivism equaled a one and a half million dollar savings.