COA affirms revocation of good time credit

A man whose disciplinary actions resulted in the loss of good time credit in a county community corrections program was not entitled to have that credit restored when his probation was revoked and he was ordered to serve the balance of his sentence, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Monday.

In Richard D. Shepard v. State of Indiana, 84A01-1606-CR-1309, Richard Shepard pleaded guilty to felony dealing in cocaine and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.  After filing for a sentence modification, the Vigo Superior Court allowed Shepard to serve his sentence on work release through the Vigo County Community Corrections program.

However, after being released to the work program, Shepard began violating many of the program’s rules, including leaving the facility to go to work when he was not actually needed and could not account for his time. As a result, program officials repeatedly took away chunks of Shepard’s earned credit time, ultimately depriving him of 225 days.

Shepard was found to have violated the conditions of his probation and was ordered to serve the balance of his sentence in the Department of Correction.  The trial court noted that although Shepard was entitled to credit for 190 days served at the work release center, the 225 days he lost resulted in zero days of good time credit.

Shepard appealed, arguing that the Vigo County Community Corrections program did not have the authority to revoke his good time credit. But the Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed Monday, writing in a unanimous panel opinion that Indiana Code does not limit the ability to revoke good time credit to only the Department of Correction.

Further, Senior Judge John Sharpnack wrote for the panel that the community corrections program properly complied with its disciplinary procedures each time Shepard violated rules.

“In the current case, the trial court did not choose to deprive Shepard of good credit time as a sua sponte sentencing consideration, but instead acknowledged the community correction program’s disciplinary decisions and incorporated them into final judgment,” Sharpnack wrote. “Requiring the trial court to ignore the program’s deprivation of Shepard’s credit time for his violations of the rules would have effectively nullified the program’s disciplinary decisions.”


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