• New law gives moms, dads behind bars hope in TPR cases

    Christina Kovats and Kristina Byers previously served time at the Indiana Women’s Prison, and this year they became advocates who worked to draft Indiana legislation aimed at dismantling the black-and-white mentality regarding termination of parental rights for incarcerated mothers. A new law now gives judges discretion in TPR cases involving parents behind bars.

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Articles

Legislation on summonses revisited amid pandemic

Legislation that would have favored summons over jail time for low-level misdemeanors didn’t pass the Indiana Senate, but in light of COVID-19 restrictions, the Indiana Supreme Court urged trial courts to take a similar approach. Local law enforcement seems to be following suit to keep inmates at low risk for exposure.

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Lake County man charged in stabbing attack on his grandparents

The grandmother of a northwestern Indiana man charged in a knife attack on her and her husband said it was like a “horror movie” when their grandson allegedly grabbed a butcher knife and began stabbing them. Nicholas Powers, 22, is charged with two counts each of attempted murder and battery, along with other charges, in the Jan. 28 attack near the town of Dyer.

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Suspended lawyer accused of thefts from disabled clients jailed on warrant

A suspended Greenwood lawyer accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from disabled and injured clients whose special-needs trusts he established and then allegedly used for his own purposes is in jail in Muncie, where he may remain until standing trial on criminal charges around the state. Kenneth “Shane” Service, 46, was booked into the Delaware County Jail on Thursday, according to jail records.

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New pretrial release rule adds risk assessments for booked inmates

A new Indiana rule requiring that booked inmates be assessed to determine risks or benefits of releasing them before trial is expected to eventually reduce overcrowding at the state’s county jails, criminal justice officials say. Criminal Rule 26, which set Indiana’s new pretrial release protocols, was adopted by the Indiana Supreme Court in 2017, but it didn’t take effect statewide until Jan. 1.

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Judge: Muncie man charged in 2018 murders to act as own attorney

An Indiana man charged in the 2018 slayings of two people found in a nature preserve and an abandoned farmhouse will act as his own attorney, a judge has ruled. Madison Circuit Court 6 Judge Mark Dudley granted Daniel Lee Jones’ request to act as his own lawyer, but his public defender will serve as stand-by counsel during the trial.

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Justices agree to hear extended expungement-wait case

Indiana Supreme Court justices have agreed to hear a case that sharply divided an appellate panel concerning whether minor felonies reduced to misdemeanor convictions should trigger new five-year waiting periods for individuals seeking a criminal expungement.

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‘Children are children’: Coalition forms after legislative attempt to lower waiver age

The Children’s Policy and Law Initiative of Indiana and more than 20 nonprofits and community groups have joined together to form the Indiana Coalition for Youth Justice, which advocates for reform in the juvenile justice system so that it offers treatment, programs and interventions that are age-appropriate, fairly applied and result in the best possible outcomes for Indiana children and public safety.

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Courts as conveners: Task force led by Rush releases recommendations for judicial response to opioid crisis

The National Judicial Opioid Task Force was created in 2017 to delve into ways the judiciary could get a handle on the opioid crisis. Co-chaired by Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush, the task force’s work culminated late last month in the release of a report that includes four findings and six recommendations for how courts can respond to the current drug scourge and be better prepared for the next addiction crisis.

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