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Marion County probation ending transportation for community service work

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Criminal defendants ordered to perform community service work will have to get to their destinations without a ride from the Marion County Probation Department as the result of a program change adopted Friday.

Judges of the Marion Superior Executive Committee approved the move and the hiring of a coordinator who will connect work crews to their community service obligations at program partners such as the Department of Public Works, Indianapolis Fire Department, Indianapolis Housing Agency and numerous community organizations.

Chief probation officer Christine Kerl said the move was among several program changes criminal judges reviewed. The cost of running the program including transportation was $6.71 per community service hour performed, Kerl said, and the change is projected to lower the cost to $1.81 per hour.

Kerl said the change wasn’t a budget issue, but that the program as it had been structured “was not producing as we thought it should have been.” Judges approved the change but asked for a report in one year.

“It’s a hotly contested item because a lot of people are very fond of the model,” Executive Committee Chairman Judge David Certo said.

Kerl said the department spent about $22,000 on fuel for the program last year, but that doesn’t include staff time or expenses for department-owned vans. She said 23 percent of the approximately 139,000 community service hours in 2012 were served in-house at the probation department.
 
 

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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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