Legislative Updates 2021


Individual and Corporate Memberships

Corporate Members

IDOC-Out Donates Hand-Made Quilt to IYG

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IDOC on 8/31/2021

Indianapolis, IN – A hand-made quilt can provide a feeling of caring and comfort almost as if you’re getting a hug from a loved one. Incarcerated individuals at the Indiana Women’s Prison (IWP) wanted to provide that care and comfort to the Indiana Youth Group (IYG). The incarcerated individuals hand-stitched a king-sized quilt featuring the IYG logo and colors. The quilt serves as a token of appreciation for all IYG does for the LGBTQ+ community in Indiana. 

IDOC-Out Founder and Leader Eric Vanatti alongside IDOC Executive Director Kathy Griffin presented the quilt to IYG on August 12, 2021.  IDOC-Out organized the donation.   

“IYG does so many wonderful things for the community.  It is an organization I wish I had available to me when growing up,” commented Eric Vanatti, founder of IDOC-Out. “IYG can assist our staff who may have children who are LGBTQ+ and LGBTQ+ youth who are being released that need resources.”   

2021 IACCAC Fall Training Institute: Roads to Recovery November 16 – 18, 2021

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Our friends at IACCAC sent over the following information for their November Conference. Please address any questions directly to them.

The 2021 IACCAC Fall Training Institute will be held Tuesday, November 16 – Thursday, November 18, 2021 at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, located at One South Capitol, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204.  The conference will also feature three Intensive Sessions: The Spartan Academy, Case Management Training and New Director Training.  (Intensive Sessions begin on Monday, November 15, 2021 and require full conference registration and 2021 IACCAC Membership to participate.)

Conference Theme: “Roads to Recovery”

Get full details including pricing, registration, and agenda at https://iaccac.net/2021-iaccac-fall-training-institute/

Another State Will Train Police to Draw Blood From Drunk Driving Suspects

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Route Fifty on 8/30/2021 by Kate Elizabeth Queram

Georgia will establish a phlebotomy program to instruct law enforcement officers on how to collect blood samples, the latest in a growing number of states to embrace the practice.

Law enforcement officers in Georgia will be trained in phlebotomy, allowing them to draw blood from drunk driving suspects on the road, officials with the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said.

Up to 100 state and local police officers will be trained in the phlebotomy program, which will be overseen by the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. The initiative, funded via a $44,190 grant from the Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, aims to collect blood evidence early in the investigative process, when alcohol levels are more accurate.

Congratulations Valerie Runyon: POPAI 2021 Rookie Probation Officer of the Year

on 9/9/2021 by Bob Schuster, POPAI Awards Chair

On Thursday, September 9, 2021 at the Probation Officers Professional Association of Indiana (POPAI) annual fall conference, Valerie Runyon, of Wells County Probation, was awarded the “Rookie Probation Officer of the Year Award”.

This award was established in 2014 to recognize probation officers who, while at the beginning of their career, show the attitude, aptitude, and the desire to improve themselves and to develop into leaders among their peers.

Valerie graduated from Ball State University and began her career with the Indiana Department of Child Services. She then worked for a community mental health facility and eventually became a master’s degree substance abuse therapist. She became a probation officer in August, 2020.

Chief Probation Officer Greg Werich states “Since her first day, she has accomplished the following: orientation and certification to be an Indiana Probation Officer, certification in IRAS/IYAS, completed IOCS Case Management training, Motivational Interviewing course, Carey Guides and BITS, Impaired Driving Assessment, and the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy pre-basic course including firearms qualification. Her high and moderate risk caseload is significantly close to that of the other officers with more longevity. She is actively conducting field visits with the field teams and is preparing for certification training in Moral Reconation Therapy to begin an in-house MRT program early next year.” Greg also added that within weeks of Valerie being hired “her family suffered the death of a close loved one. Accomplishing all she has in a year of employment in a small probation department is impressive: having accomplished this during personal and pandemic hardship is amazing.”

Probation Officer Vicki Cale states “I have over 30 years of experience as a probation officer but I often staff cases with Valerie because of the knowledge she has in addressing substance abuse. The Wells County Probation Department is very fortunate to have Valerie as an employee.”

Congratulations Valerie!

Allen County OWI Court First In Indiana To Be Certified

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Indiana Public Media on 09/04/2021 by Associated Press

Allen Circuit Court’s Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated Court has become the first of its kind in the state to receive full certification.

The court program, located in Fort Wayne, was given provisional certification by the Indiana Supreme Court in July 2020, allowing it to accept participants charged with drunken driving as a felony, The Journal Gazette reported.

The problem-solving court later received a conditional certification in March from the Indiana Office of Court Services so it could continue services until it received a final on-site review this past week.

Participants entering the OVWI court are supervised by the Allen County Probation Department and other partnering local agencies. Problem-solving courts provide participants with various services — including medication-assisted treatment, substance-use disorder treatment, safe and sober housing and cognitive-behavioral therapy programs — in hopes of lessening charges for those who are successful, according to the court.

The court has so far had 107 participants.

Participants who are successful with the 30-month program can have their felony charges reduced to misdemeanor charges or dismissed entirely.

Congratulations Susan Allen: POPAI 2021 Founder’s Award Winner

on 9/9/2021 by Bob Schuster, POPAI Awards Chair

On Thursday, September 9, 2021 at the Probation Officers Professional Association of Indiana (POPAI) annual fall conference, Susan Allen of the Monroe Circuit Court Probation Department was awarded the “Founder’s Award”.

The “Founder’s Award” is a way of recognizing individuals who have significantly contributed to the field of probation in general and specifically to the POPAI organization. The recipient need not be a Probation Officer or POPAI member. The selected person however, shall be characterized by his/her commitment of influence and promotion of professionalism to Indiana probation.

Linda Brady, Chief Probation Officer, states “Susan has been a leader in Indiana probation since the start of her career. Susan started her probation journey in 1981 as a probation intern in Monroe County. After obtaining her B.A. from IU in 1983, Susan was hired as a substance abuse probation officer for this department in January 1985. Susan immediately made her mark on this department. She was highly motivated to seek out training opportunities and quickly became the resident ‘expert’ in all matters related to substance abuse and addiction. She was a great resource and provided training and mentoring to the adult probation officers who had previously never received any formal training related to alcohol and drug abuse.” Linda reports that when she (Linda) became a substance abuse probation officer in September 1985, Susan was not only a co-worker but more importantly, Linda’s mentor. Linda goes on to state “Susan is absolutely passionate about her work. She is a team player and is always willing to put the good of the department above her personal feelings. Susan leads by example. She works very hard and expects her staff to work just as hard for the clients. She gives her staff her time, energy and support. Just as she was a leader when she was a line probation officer, Susan is the ‘gold standard’ for probation supervisors.” Linda indicates that Susan has been active in the community and at the state level as a member and/or leader of several committees. Also noted was the fact that Susan was the recipient of the Order of Augustus Award in 2007. Linda concluded by stating “Susan is more than an excellent probation officer, probation supervisor, and Court Alcohol and Drug Program Director. Susan is a truly exceptional, caring, and humble human being.”

Susan’s staff added “We, the probation officers of the Monroe Circuit Court, could write all day on her accomplishments professionally and personally. We feel that she demonstrates the best qualities of a probation officer on a daily basis by tirelessly helping probationers find their own path to success. She also gives the probation staff the same high level of attention and assistance.”

Congratulations Susan!

Congratulations Allen Waller: POPAI 2021 Line Probation Officer of the Year

on 9/9/2021 by Bob Schuster, POPAI Awards Chair

On Thursday, September 9, 2021 at the Probation Officers Professional Association of Indiana (POPAI) annual fall conference, Allen Waller, a probation officer with Vanderburgh Juvenile Probation, was presented the “Line Probation Officer of the Year Award.”

This award was established in 2014 to recognize line probation officers who have performed their duties in an outstanding manner and/or made significant contributions to the field of probation at the local, regional or national level. The recipient may also have brought credit or honor to the profession of probation through participation or involvement in community activities or programs. This recognition is awarded to probation officers who are involved in the direct supervision of criminal defendants/juvenile offenders and/or other line probation officer duties such as conducting Presentence Investigations, Preliminary Inquiries, and Pre-dispositional Investigations.

Nominator Trent Barnett, Field Officer Supervisor, states “Allen has been a juvenile probation officer with Vanderburgh County since 2014.” He is currently assigned to the intensive unit which is “tasked with the community supervision of the most high-risk delinquents in Vanderburgh County.” Trent indicates that Allen goes above and beyond to make sure his clients’ needs are met by “meeting with them in the home, school, or community as well as spending countless hours on the phone after work hours diffusing potential probation behavioral issues. His approach towards juveniles and families is compassionate yet strong and assertive when needed. He has also volunteered to speak at multiple not for profit agencies to help inspire at risk youth to make positive choices and decisions in their lives.”

Judge Brett Niemeier of the Vanderburgh Superior Court states “Allen’s true worth to my probation department is impossible to measure or adequately describe. It is the small things about Allen which set him apart. Allen is one of those unique individuals who can talk to anyone and become a trusted friend in just a few minutes. His attitude and smile are contagious. He truly changes kids’ lives because of his caring nature and it isn’t just kids on his caseload. He befriends kids in our schools and on our streets. He sets an example not only for those kids, but everyone around him. He makes us all better.”

M. Rebecca Helm, Disposition Supervisor, states “Allen always has a smile on his face and a positive attitude in regards to his job. Allen never complains about the cases he is assigned and is always willing to help his co-workers and probationers. Allen truly cares about his probationers and their families and it shows by his dedication and commitment to his job.”

Congratulations Allen!

State Accepting Applications For Substance Abuse Recovery Housing Program

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Indiana Public Media on 09/07/2021 by Brandon Smith

Indiana wants to provide temporary housing for people recovering from substance abuse issues. The federal government provided the state with nearly $2 million for the Recovery Housing Pilot Program.

The money will go to communities around the state that set up transitional housing for people in recovery from substance abuse disorders. It can be used to build facilities or renovate existing ones. It’s open to cities and counties, and those local governments can partner with non-profits for their projects.

The programs are meant to help lower-income Hoosiers who need temporary housing while they recover. And the facilities must meet national standards of care, with staff that help Hoosiers in their recovery.

Applications are due to the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs by Oct. 29.

New Sumner County (TN) Juvenile Mental Health Court Aims To Destigmatize Mental Illness, Keep Kids Out of the System

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TNCourts.gov on 9/15/2021

Sumner County Youth Empowerment (SCYE) is Tennessee’s first juvenile mental health court. The intensive probation and treatment program, which kicked off in May and welcomed its first case last month, is designed to help vulnerable youth avoid the adult court system.

“We figured a court is the best place to start. The purpose is to help kids and families who come through the system and try to figure out if their behaviors are because of mental illness,” said Alan Hickey, Assistant Juvenile Court Director.

Judge David R. Howard said the idea came from a conversation he had with Judge Mike Carter, who started Sumner County’s adult mental health court.

“A lot of issues are untreated because we don’t know what to do. We are still struggling with what do you do with a child with mental health issues. Is the behavior driving the mental health issues or are the mental health issues driving the behavior,” said Judge Howard, who is a General Sessions Court and Juvenile Court Judge.

Judge Carter was a tremendous help in the early development stages of SCYE, which was modeled after a juvenile drug court program in Denton, Texas.

“We want to try to take the stigma away from mental health issues, especially for kids. They deserve better than that,” said Judge Howard.

Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Tippecanoe, Warren, and White Counties — My Healthy Baby program launch information for September

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Via Email by State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box

You are invited to a virtual event to learn more about Indiana’s My Healthy Baby initiative, which will be launching in Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Tippecanoe, Warren, and White counties this September. We will be providing an overview of the program and will outline how you can help achieve the goal of saving at least 200 babies a year by 2024.

In light of the recent surge in COVID cases, we have decided to hold these events virtually instead of in person for the safety of all in attendance.

Event Details (Please RSVP to attend this event at the following link: https://myhealthybaby-tippecanoe-public.eventbrite.com)

Who: This event is for all community members who have an interest in the health of mothers and babies.

What: State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box will be leading this session.

When: Friday, September 17, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., EST

Where: Microsoft Teams Meeting


Please feel free to forward this invitation. We look forward to seeing you virtually on Friday, September 17, 2021 at 10:00 am!


Kris Box, MD, FACOG
State Health Commissioner

Daniel Rusyniak, MD
Family and Social Services Administration Secretary

Terry Stigdon, RN, MSN
Department of Child Services Director

JDAI hopes to connect teens to the community

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The News Sun on 8/19/2021 by Patrick Redmond

LAGRANGE – As LaGrange County’s JDAI coordinator, Randy Merrifield’s focused on ways hopes will help local teens stay out of trouble.

One issue that’s worried Merrifield is that high school juniors and seniors are so busy working toward graduating that they fail to create solid connections to the communities they grow up in.

So he’s come up with a plan to solve that.

On Wednesday, Sept. 15, starting at 9 a.m., Merrifield’s JDAI program, with help from the LaGrange County Sheriff’s Office, the LaGrange Chamber of Commerce, local law enforcement, all three school districts, will host a large trade show of sorts in the main gym at Lakeland High School, aimed at helping students connect to their community. He’s bring in speakers, local business leaders, community organizers, leaders of mental health services and other not for profit organizations. His goal is to show teens there are more options available to them than simply deciding whether or not to go to college once high school is finished.

Adolescent marijuana, alcohol use held steady during COVID-19 pandemic

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NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse on 6/24/2021

Adolescent marijuana use and binge drinking did not significantly change during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite record decreases in the substances’ perceived availability, according to a survey of 12th graders in the United States. The study’s findings, which appeared online on June 24, 2021, in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, challenge the idea that reducing adolescent use of drugs can be achieved solely by limiting their supply. The work was led by researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health.

In contrast to consistent rates of marijuana and alcohol use, nicotine vaping in high school seniors declined during the pandemic, along with declines in perceived availability of vaping devices at this time. The legal purchase age is 21 for nicotine products and alcohol in all states, and for cannabis in states that have legalized nonmedical cannabis use.

Basement full of bullets brings federal charges on former Crane employee

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Yahoo News on 8/30/2021 by Mike Grant, Washington Times-Herald, Ind.

What began as an inspection for child pornography in Loogootee turned into a federal indictment for thousands of rounds of munitions.

The U.S. Attorney for Southern Indiana reports a federal grand jury has returned an indictment on Timothy L. Guy, 74, Loogootee, charging him with possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of stolen U.S. government property and possession of child pornography.

Martin County Sheriff Travis Roush says the new charges began with a request from Dubois County Community Corrections.

“They asked our officers to assist in a visit to Guy’s home and a search,” said Roush. “We found a lot of munitions there and from that point turned it over to the Indiana State Police.”

ICCADS Annual Training

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ICCADS on 09/01/2021 by ICCADS

The deadline (September 10, 2021) to register to attend this year’s ICCADS Fall Training is quickly approaching.

This year’s training will be held October 6, 7,  and 8th in beautiful and scenic Nashville, Indiana at the Brown County Inn.

Topics for this year’s training are scheduled to include:

  • Court Alcohol and Drug Demographics
  • Current Topics in Court and Alcohol Programs
  • The Role of Peer Support
  • Infectious Diseases with Dr. Kristina Box
  • The Basics of Batterers Intervention Programs
  • Looking at Addiction as an Allergy

You can now register for the training by using the following link.