Indiana Department of Correction

Rehab, not jail, shows promise in lowering recidivism

April 10, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Advocates for alternative programs are asking the Indiana Legislature for funding.
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Criminal Code bill gets Senate hearing

March 26, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Concerns over sentencing provisions and pleas for adequate funding dominated the Senate hearing on legislation overhauling the state’s criminal code.
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Evidence shows stabbing by inmate wasn’t in self defense

March 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Bartholomew County jail inmate had his conviction and sentence for Class B felony aggravated battery upheld Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The judges ruled the evidence disputes his claim that a fight he got into with a fellow inmate was in self defense.
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Judges deny prisoner’s request to appeal without paying fees

March 13, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that he and other prisoners do not need to pay appellate filing and docketing fees, and so a District Court’s certification of appeal is irrelevant.
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Long expects Criminal Code revision will get Senate approval

February 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana’s first major rewrite of the state’s Criminal Code in more than 30 years is now in the hands of the Senate where the Senate leader believes it will ultimately be approved.
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Proposed changes would make convicted felons serve at least 75 percent of sentence

February 20, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The worst-of-the-worst criminal offenders will be facing more time while low-level offenders will be given intensive probation under the new sentencing provisions included in the rewrite of the Indiana Criminal Code.
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District judge incorrectly dismissed prisoner’s suit for length and unintelligibility

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered U.S. Judge William T. Lawrence to take another look at a federal prisoner’s Bivens lawsuit against prison staff and other unnamed defendants, finding that the lawsuit is actually written clearly and not as long as the judge believed when dismissing it.
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7th Circuit reverses dismissal of prisoner’s suit

February 1, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A lawsuit filed by a prisoner at the Pendleton Correctional Facility against two prison doctors and a nurse after he learned he had prostate cancer is allowed to continue after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of his suit.
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Senator files bill restricting educational credit time for sex offenders

January 16, 2013
IL Staff
Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, announced Wednesday that he has introduced legislation to revise the state’s education credit law for sex offenders. He said eight months ago that he would seek to change the law after a sex offender was released early after earning this type of credit.
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Ruling: DOC 'indifferent' to mentally ill inmates

January 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
The opinion from the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana fits the national trend against isolation policy for these inmates.
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Judge: DOC treatment of mentally ill unconstitutional

January 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
A lack of basic treatment for mentally ill Indiana Department of Correction inmates held in isolation violates the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, a federal judge ruled Monday.
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Court of Appeals reverses and remands inmate’s request for kosher meals

October 9, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A Pendleton Correctional Facility inmate will not be able to collect monetary damages against employees of the Indiana Department of Correction, but his request for kosher meals will get a second review.  
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Inmate loses appeal of visitation restrictions by DOC

September 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An inmate at the Pendleton Correctional Facility can have his visitation restricted to non-contact visits due to committing battery with a deadly weapon and violating disciplinary procedures, the Court of Appeals concluded.
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Sex offender registry listings subject of court appeals

September 12, 2012
Dave Stafford
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals says DOC must fix errors; The Indiana Court of Appeals recently heard an ex post facto claim.
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7th Circuit to DOC: Sex offender registry error safeguards insufficient

August 28, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s Sex and Violent Offender Registry provides insufficient means for those whose information is incorrect to challenge the information, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Inmate’s public records request denied

August 15, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An inmate at the Pendleton Correctional Facility was unable to identify with reasonable particularity the records he sought from the Fort Wayne Police Department, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday. The case also allowed the judges for the first time to address “reasonable particularity” under the Access to Public Records Act.
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Crawford holding doesn’t apply to probation revocation hearings

July 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court rejected a man’s argument Thursday that he should be afforded the same right of confrontation in his probation revocation hearing as is outlined in Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004).
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Justices: Good-time-credit amendment not retroactive

July 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
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.
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Justices uphold sentence for kidnapping jail officer

July 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In a four-page per curiam decision, the Indiana Supreme Court reinstated the trial court’s 47-year sentence of Roger Bushhorn, who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his escape, kidnapping and assault of jail officials.
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Supreme Court grants more time to e-file some abstracts of judgment

July 3, 2012
Dave Stafford
Courts will have until the end of this year to file abstracts of judgment of felony convictions for people not sentenced to the Department of Correction, according to an order issued June 28 by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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COA rules in favor of DOC employee

March 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found the trial court should have granted summary judgment to a Department of Correction employee on a man's claim that he was personally deprived a liberty interest when the DOC refused to remove his name from the sex offender registry.
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7th Circuit affirms inmate has no property interest in fund

February 9, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the decision in the Northern District of Indiana that an inmate has no property interest in prison recreation funds.
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Justices reverse determinate commitment

January 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In a three-page per curiam opinion released Wednesday by the Indiana Supreme Court, the justices reversed a juvenile’s determinate commitment to the Department of Correction for committing what would be felony murder if committed by an adult.
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Prisons face legal questions in managing inmate requests

January 18, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The institutions must balance religion of inmates and security of prisons.
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ACLU says DOC should be held in contempt over kosher meals

December 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana is asking a federal judge to hold the state’s Department of Correction in contempt for not offering inmates kosher meals as it had been ordered to do a year ago.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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