Criminal Justice

Hoosier Legislators Return To Indy Tuesday

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June 16, 2014 — State lawmakers will meet at the Statehouse Tuesday to make small, mostly technical changes to the state’s criminal code reform bill, which takes effect July first. But as Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports, the reform bill’s authors anticipate more substantive changes to come in the future:

 

Work on the overhaul of the state’s criminal code began more than five years ago – representatives from different sectors of the law enforcement and legal community went line-by-line through the code. The bulk of the resulting legislation was passed in 2013, set to become effective this summer. That allowed lawmakers to complete their work this past session. And before the law takes effect, the General Assembly this week will seek to make mostly minor tweaks to the bill. Bloomington Democratic Representative Matt Pierce says it’s important the legislature restrict itself during its technical corrections session to those small tweaks:

We really limited ourselves to just, kind of, technical issues – resolve ambiguities, conflicts to other bills – to make sure that the intent that everyone agreed upon for certain is what actually gets written on paper.”

Danville Republican Representative Greg Steuerwald says when the legislature meets for its next regular session in January, he’s certain discussion will begin on more significant changes:

It’s a four hundred page bill and I’m sure there’s going to be others. I have no doubt that there’s going to be questions raised; there’s going to be some gnashing of teeth over the next year or two.”

Pierce notes there’s already talk of creating more consistency when it comes to credit time, which is time deducted from people’s sentences. He says there may need to be more clarity about how credit time is earned when an offender is housed not in prison, but in home detention or a community corrections program.

 

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