Corrections and Criminal Code committee to convene Thursday, study criminal justice reform

Topics including appointed counsel at initial hearings and juvenile justice issues are on the agenda for this fall’s meetings of the Interim Study Committee on Corrections and Criminal Code.

The study committee will hold its first meeting at 10 a.m. Thursday in Room 130 of the downtown Indianapolis Statehouse. Republican Sen. Sue Glick of LaGrange will chair the committee, and Republican Rep. Wendy McNamara of Evansville will serve as co-chair.

The Legislative Council has tasked the panel with studying six topics this year, including:

  • Human trafficking.
  • Assignment of counsel at the initial hearing in criminal cases, the capacity of the public defender system to provide counsel and the impact of providing counsel on jail overcrowding.
  • Jurisdiction over adults for sex offenses committed while a child.
  • Juvenile sentencing to life without parole.
  • Costs and fees for juvenile prosecution.
  • Multiyear review of current trends with respect to criminal behavior, sentencing, incarceration and treatment.

Thursday’s initial meeting will include a review of those topics, as well as testimony from multiple criminal justice stakeholders, such as the Indiana Supreme Court, the Indiana Public Defender Council, the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council and the Indiana State Bar Association, among others.

As of Wednesday, the study committee was also scheduled to meet Sept. 23 and Oct. 26.

Additional members of the committee include GOP Sens. Mike Bohacek, Aaron Freeman and Jim Tomes; Democratic Sens. Tim Lanane, Karen Tallian and Greg Taylor; GOP Reps. Chris Jeter, Greg Steuerwald and John Young; and Democratic Reps. John Bartlett, Ragen Hatcher and Matt Pierce.

Lay members include Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter, Linda Brady of Monroe County probation, Bernice Corley of the Public Defender Council, Amber Finnegan of Jefferson County Court Services and Putnam Circuit Judge Matt Headley.

The study committee’s schedule and agenda are available online. 

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