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IU’s pretrial diversion program sees fewer participants

April 25, 2018

Indiana University’s pretrial diversion program had a record low number of offenders this year who tried to work off misdemeanors collected during weekend celebrations for a student bicycle race.

The Little 500 court had 105 nonviolent offenders enroll in the program this year in an attempt to avoid jail time, The Herald Times reported. Those who successfully complete the program can eventually have certain charges dismissed, including public intoxication.

Many participants were cited for underage drinking and spent Sunday picking up trash and attending an alcohol education class.

Sunday’s turnout beat the previous record low of 110 participants in 2015. The number of court participants has often reached more than 200 in the past decade.

Authorities typically make hundreds of alcohol- and drug-related arrests connected to parties during the Little 500, a bicycle race held annually on campus during the third weekend of April.

“The arrest list of those actually booked into jail was 43 pages long this morning, with more on Friday and Saturday,” Monroe County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bob Miller said Monday by email.

Authorities arrested about 25 people on a misdemeanor charge during the weekend, Miller said.

More people were arrested on felony charges for crimes such as violence, drug offenses and drunk driving, he said.

“There were also more than a few handgun charges,” Miller said. “This is a troubling development when compared to previous Little 5 weekends.”

The Bloomington Police Department responded to more calls during this year’s event, but opened fewer investigations and made fewer arrests. People seemed to be in better control of themselves while drinking this year, said Capt. Steve Kellams.

He said he felt as if “for the most part, everyone was well-behaved.”

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