Criminal code overhauled

Keywords neglect
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Legislators in 2013 passed the first comprehensive reform of Indiana’s criminal code in more than 35 years. HEA 1006 made various changes to the criminal code, including to community corrections, sentencing and many crimes. It removes the current four-level felony penalty classification and replaces it with a six-level felony penalty classification.

Some of the bill took effect July 1, 2013, but the reclassification of felonies won’t start until July 1, 2014.

The Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee spent months examining the law, studying the sentencing provisions and funding issues. At its last two meetings in December, the study committee received results of two studies that look at the financial aspect of the revisions.

A central goal behind the new criminal code is to reduce recidivism by keeping lower-level offenders in their home counties where they would be handled through intensive supervision and monitoring, as well as treatment for drug addiction and mental illness. Funding to pay for these services is expected to come from savings realized by having fewer inmates in state prisons, but the Department of Correction believes the number of inmates in prison will increase at a quicker pace under the revisions, evaporating any potential savings.

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