Articles

Justice by geography? Bill aims to bring uniformity to indigency determinations

Across Indiana, lawyers say judges in different counties often take different approaches to making an indigency determination. That’s led to what some call “justice by geography” — that is, a person facing charges might be deemed indigent in one county, but the same person facing the same charges in another county might be found to have the ability to pay. A Senate bill seeks a statewide standard.

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Marion Co. defender Karozos named state public defender

The Indiana Supreme Court has named Amy Karozos as Indiana’s next state public defender, according to a Friday announcement from the high court. Karozos, currently a Marion County public defender in the juvenile division, has previously served as a project director for the Indiana Public Defender Council.

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Stakeholders praise pretrial reforms at statewide summit

Across Indiana, 44 local jails are currently at capacity. But if half of all pretrial detainees were released, that number would fall to 11. A key lawmaker used that statistic Friday to demonstrate the possible benefits in Indiana’s efforts to release low-level, low-risk offenders as an alternative to cash bail.

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Public defenders: ‘Pay now or pay later’

In the 2½ years since the Sixth Amendment Center released a report strongly condemning indigent criminal defense in Indiana, public defenders have pressed for reforms. Now, those efforts slowly are beginning to bear fruit as the Indiana General Assembly takes action on reform legislation.

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State, national groups support Indiana public defense reform

Leaders of state and national criminal justice organizations are declaring their support for the Indiana Public Defender Commission’s reform initiative, which the commission is presenting to the Indiana General Assembly this year in an effort to secure additional funds to expand and improve indigent defense services statewide.

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