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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. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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