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Justices: Good-time-credit amendment not retroactive

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The Indiana Supreme Court interpreted a 2010 amendment on credit time earned during placement in community corrections to only apply to those placed on home detention on or after its July 1, 2010, effective date.

Douglas Cottingham sought to receive good-time credit under Indiana Code 35-38-2.6-6 when his home detention under a community-corrections program was revoked and he was ordered to serve time in the Department of Correction. He was placed on home detention before the 2010 amendment took effect.

Before the amendment to section 6, the General Assembly expressly provided that persons placed on home detention in community-corrections programs weren’t entitled to earn good-time credit. The amendment removed language preventing someone from earning that credit.

Justice Frank Sullivan noted in the opinion released Thursday that there is a conflict in the Indiana Court of Appeals on whether the amendment is retroactive. The justices examined the amendment language and held that it only applies to people put on home detention on July 1, 2010, or later.

“By using ‘is placed’ (or by not amending that language as it existed in the prior statute), we think that the Legislature intended for this amendment to apply only to those persons who ‘are placed’ on home detention on or after the amendment’s effective date,” he wrote. “If the Legislature intended for the amendment to apply to persons who had already been placed on home detention, it would have used language to include such persons – language like ‘a person who has been placed’ or even ‘a person who is in community corrections.’"

He pointed out an offender who committed an offense before the statute’s effective date and was placed on home detention after the effective date would be eligible for good-time credit.

 

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