Juvenile justice

Delinquency affirmed as COA tosses timeliness appeal

January 13, 2017
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday rejected an argument that a juvenile delinquency case should have been dismissed because a fact-finding hearing wasn’t conducted within 60 days of the delinquency petition.
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Initiative leads to fewer juvenile delinquency filings

January 11, 2017
Olivia Covington
The number of youths finding themselves in the court system has been on a downward trend nationally and statewide, with the number of juvenile delinquency filings across Indiana steadily decreasing for the last decade.
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Supreme Court gives new chance to 5 Arizona inmates

October 31, 2016
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court is ordering Arizona judges to reconsider life sentences with no chance of parole for five inmates who were convicted of murder for crimes they committed before they turned 18.
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COA allows juvenile expungement despite pending charge

October 19, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has allowed a Marion County man’s juvenile record to be expunged after finding that a criminal charge that was filed against him after he filed a petition for expungement cannot be held against him in the expungement case.
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Court rejects class action over lawyers for immigrant kids

September 20, 2016
 Associated Press
A federal appeals court panel has rejected a class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of children who go without lawyers in deportation proceedings.
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2-year program at Madison facility shows positive impact tablets have on behavior

August 10, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The data is still being collected but the staff at the Madison Juvenile Correctional Facility is noticing the nearly 50 incarcerated young women are calmer, not filing as many grievances and reading more books. So what's happening?
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Court rules detention of youth who reported drug justified

July 26, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A probation officer who arrested and detained a middle school student for violating court policy has quasi-judicial immunity against charges of negligence and constitutional violations.
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Judges uphold teen’s 40-year sentence for brutal attack on homeowner

July 15, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A Grant County teen who participated in the rape of a homeowner during his burglary of her home deserves the 40-year sentence imposed in adult court, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Teen courts across northwest Indiana dole out justice

May 18, 2016
 Associated Press
The Teen Court program in Lake County, along with others in northwest Indiana, gives teens an alternative to the traditional trajectory of juvenile justice. The program uses a novel approach in which a jury of teens decides the punishment for peers who are diverted from the juvenile justice system.
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Statewide crisis of CHINS stretches judicial resources

May 18, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The increase in filings of juvenile children in need of services petitions across the state has been growing steadily since 2011 but ballooned to 14,227 in 2014 and could likely top 17,500 for 2015.
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Cass County gets $60,000 grant for juvenile jail alternative

May 12, 2016
 Associated Press
Northern Indiana's Cass County is getting a $60,000 grant to help start an alternative jail program for juveniles who are accused of crimes.
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Indiana teen who killed man at age 12 gets chance at freedom

April 25, 2016
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana teenager who was 12 years old when he helped kill his friend's stepfather has a chance at freedom.
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Report: Indiana saw sharp increase in homicides under age 20

February 15, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana saw a sharp increase in homicides among children and teenagers in 2013, and homicide was the leading cause of death for blacks ages 15 to 24, according to a report released Monday by a group that tracks such statistics.
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Lake County sees successes with JDAI

February 8, 2016
 Associated Press
Lake County has seen success in the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative that offers kids alternatives to incarceration, including home detention, day and evening reporting programs, residential alternatives and foster care.
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13 Indiana counties to join Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative

January 27, 2016
IL Staff
Thirteen counties will join Indiana’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative this year, which will include 32 counties after the expansion is complete.
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Justices extend bar on automatic life terms for teenagers

January 25, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday that people serving life terms for murders they committed as teenagers must have a chance to seek their freedom, a decision that could affect more than 1,000 inmates.
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‘Dumping Ground’ juvenile justice documentary debuts tonight

November 19, 2015
IL Staff
A documentary following an Indiana teen with an IQ of 40 and others who were abandoned by their parents and ended up behind bars will debut on public television tonight.
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Schools across US find alternatives to suspending students

October 19, 2015
 Associated Press
The recent arrest of a 14-year-old Muslim boy whose teacher mistook his homemade clock for a possible bomb led to widespread ridicule of school officials and accusations that Islamophobia may have played a part. It has also highlighted the need in many states to evaluate the violations that lead to suspension or expulsion of students.
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SCOTUS hear arguments over life sentences for teenagers

October 13, 2015
 Associated Press
People serving life terms for murders they committed as teenagers were looking to the Supreme Court of the United States Tuesday for signals about whether they will have a chance to seek their freedom.
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Indiana justice recognized for work with children

October 9, 2015
IL Staff
Indiana Justice Steven David has received the Annie E. Casey Foundation Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Distinguished System Leadership Award. The award recognizes his work with children in court.
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Teens sentence their peers in Tippecanoe County program

July 7, 2015
 Associated Press
A special Tippecanoe County Courthouse program has jurors, lawyers and defendants, but they're all younger than 18.
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Bartholomew juvenile detentions plummet under JDAI

March 27, 2015
 Associated Press
The number of local juvenile offenders detained each year in Bartholomew County has been decreasing dramatically during the past decade, the Columbus Republic reports.
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Legislative debate highlights issues surrounding juvenile offenders

March 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A proposed change to Indiana’s juvenile law has state legislators wrestling with the question of when children should be treated like adults.
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Judge: Heroin use is driving explosion in CHINS filings

November 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
More than 25,000 Marion County youths have been referred to juvenile court this year for adjudication as children in need of services, an increase of more than 35 percent compared to last year.
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Re-routing the school-to-prison pipeline

October 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Tippecanoe County is just one of a handful of sites across the nation participating in a special initiative designed to constrict the flow of minors into the juvenile justice system and give them a second chance.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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