Legislative Updates 2023


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Management Institute 2023: Attendee Registration is OPEN

POPAI on 01/13/2023 by Karen Oeding and Anthony Williams

POPAI is excited to announce details regarding the 2023 POPAI Management Institute and New Chief Probation Officer Orientation for Attendees (Probation Officer Chiefs, Community Corrections Directors, and Leaders in Probation or Community Corrections). Below are details regarding each event in addition to information on how to secure a hotel room at the conference location.

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Susan Bentley Graduates from APPA Leadership Institute

APPA on 03/16/2023

Susan Bentley, Chief Probation Officer for the Hendricks County Probation Department, recently graduated from the American Probation and Parole Association’s Leadership Institute during the 2023 APPA Regional Institute in Los Angeles, California. Susan was a member of the 8th class of individuals to complete the LI program which began in 2010.

The Leadership Institute is a 12 month journey which takes a select group of management level staff through a series of three training institutes. Participants arrive early for each institute and participate in two days of intensive, administrative specific training provided by experts in the fields of leadership, management, and the criminal legal system. Participants are also required to complete monthly assignments and a final project designed to benefit their agency.

Susan began her career in probation in 2003 in Marion County and was named the Chief Probation Officer in Hendricks County in 2016. She currently serves as the Vice-President of the Probation Officers Professional Association of Indiana.

The next class of the Leadership Institute will begin in August of 2023 during the APPA Summer Institute in New York City. Watch the APPA website at www.appa-net.org for more details.

Congratulations Susan!

Final Reminder: Call for Nominations: Sgt. Steven P. Mennemeyer Memorial Award

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on 03/16/2023

Time is running out for nominations for the Sgt. Steven P. Mennemeyer Memorial Award and are due on or before April 1, 2023.

The award recognizes individuals who have made significant impact, achievement or contribution to Veterans in Indiana through their work in the Criminal Justice System.

Read more including the Recipient History

Download informative flyer and application

Remembering Chief Probation Officer Lucile M. Myers EOW March 21, 1926

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Officer Down Memorial Page

Lake County Juvenile Probation Department, Indiana

End of Watch Sunday, March 21, 1926

Chief Probation Officer Lucile Myers was shot and killed while investigating a child welfare case at a home at 417 17th Street, near the intersection of Calumet Avenue and 17th Street (modern day 170th Street).

Chief Myers had received a complaint that nine children were living in deplorable conditions and being forced to work by their father, who was exhibiting signs of mental illness. She was permitted into the house by one of the teenage children and began speaking to them of their condition. During the questioning the father entered the room and demanded that he be the only one to answer questions.

When Chief Myers continued to ask the children questions the father pulled out a revolver and shot her in the head as she sat in a chair. The man then fled from the house. It is not known if he was ever captured.

Chief Myers’ teenage son had accompanied her to the home and was waiting in their vehicle when the shooting occurred. When he saw the father running from the home with the revolver he went into the home and discovered his mother. He drove her to a local hospital where she was placed in a room next to her killer’s wife, who had just given birth to their tenth child. Chief Myers died approximately 20 minutes later.

Chief Myers had served with the Lake County Juvenile Probation Department for five years. She was a widow and was survived by several children. She is buried at Ridgelawn Cemetery in Gary, Indiana.

Inmates explore higher education through IU Prison Arts Initiative

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News at IU on 2/23/2023

“It took me somewhere else, and I could forget about where I am for a while and get lost in creating,” Putnamville Correctional Facility inmate William W. said when asked how he felt while making art. William was one of 20 students who participated in “Drawing Your Story,” the first class offered by the Indiana University Prison Arts Initiative.

Art by Nick D.

The initiative began during the fall 2022 semester as an outreach partnership facilitated through the IU Arts and Humanities Council with initial sponsorship from the IU Center for Rural Engagement. The program’s goal is to provide a college-level visual arts course for incarcerated individuals with high school diplomas and an interest in higher education.

IU Prison Arts Initiative program coordinator Oliver Nell is working toward his Master of Arts in arts administration in the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He drew inspiration for the program from the Alabama Prison Arts and Education Project, administered by his undergrad alma mater, Auburn University.


County Guide for Reducing Jail Populations and Costs

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National Association of Counties on 9/7/2022

County officials are implementing data-driven and evidence-based policies, practices and programs to decrease jail populations, reduce associated costs and meet the social and safety needs of communities. Annually, county jails process 8 million admissions and spend $29 billion on correctional facilities.[1] The Pew Charitable Trusts reported in 2021 that county corrections costs increased 521 percent from 1977 to 2017.

When determining local jail population drivers, counties may choose to look at neighboring counties’ data or others within their state and/or nationally as comparisons. The Jail Data Initiative at New York University, in partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts, is gathering data on jail populations around the country. Using online data rosters from roughly a third of the jails in the United States, the project analyzes daily populations, lengths of stay, charge and demographic profiles of those incarcerated, admissions, release statistics and more. Visit their website to explore and compare local data metrics.

Through collaborative efforts such as local public safety planning boards or criminal justice coordinating councils, counties are looking at data from various departments and entities to identify factors that drive jail population growth and exploring solutions to improve outcomes.

Common drivers of jail populations include:[2]

  • Bookings and/or arrests, especially for low-level charges such as misdemeanors
  • Pretrial length of stay
  • Technical violations of community supervision, and
  • Recidivism.

Counties are also increasingly interested in identifying and reducing or eliminating racial disparities in their criminal legal systems. Counties can use data to better understand their jail populations and identify disparities that indicate further review. Counties can disaggregate data for each of the four jail population drivers by self-identified race, ethnicity, age, sex, sexual orientation and gender and then compare to rates in the local population. If the data demonstrate an overrepresentation of a specific group(s), county leaders can work to identify possible disproportionate sources and determine policy and program responses specific to the population(s).


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Preparing for the future: Huntington County

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The Huntington County TAB on 2/28/2023 by Joseph Slacian

Sheriff Chris Newton and Jami Fox stand in the lobby of the Huntington County Jail. Photo by Joseph Slacian

Sheriff Chris Newton and Jami Fox stand in the lobby of the Huntington County Jail. Photo by Joseph Slacian

It’s safe to say, Jami Fox knows of what she speaks. And it is for that reason that Huntington County Sheriff Chris Newton brought her on the department staff at the beginning of the year

“Old jail construction was meant for small term housing,” Newton said. “We weren’t meant to keep people for longer periods of time.”

The passage of House Bill 1006 a few years ago forced Huntington County, along with all many counties around the state, to take a close look at the use of their existing jail space. The bill changed the sentencing structure for those convicted of felonies.

Basically, the people who used to have drug charges who used to go to prison now stay more often in your local jail,” Newton said. “So when that happened, our jail population went up like everyone else’s. We started thinking jail population is going to increase and we know we’re going to have these people here for a longer period of time, especially those with substance abuse.

“When they go to prison, they have the opportunity to go to classes if they want to. We weren’t built for that. We were basically holding cells. We didn’t have classrooms.”

That started a conversation with Newton and the Huntington County Council and County Commissioners.

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