Criminal justice matters

The Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard HB 1102 authored by Rep. Steuerwald on criminal justice matters. The bill:

  1. requires the DOC commissioner to coordinate with DMHA, and local criminal justice agencies to collaborate with each other, in creating DOC-funded community-corrections and recidivism-reduction programs;
  2. encourages counties to include courts, prosecutors, public defenders, and sheriffs when creating community corrections plans; and
  3. makes mental-health and addiction services available to offenders who face felony charges or have prior felonies, if they are eligible for jail or pretrial-services, community-corrections, or diversion placements.

Rep. Steuerwald explained that the bill was drafted in collaboration with the Justice Reinvestment Advisory Council to coordinate mental-health and addictions services funded by DOC and DMHA, encourage all local criminal justice agencies to participate, and broadened eligibility for offender participation in such services. Jane Seigel, Executive Director of the Indiana Judicial Center and Justice Reinvestment Advisory Council chair, the Indiana Public Defenders Council, Mental Health America of Indiana, and the Indiana Council of Community Mental Health Centers testified in support of the bill.

The bill was amended by consent to include county jails, along with pretrial diversion programs, eligible to apply for grants, and to clarify the definition of “mental health and addiction forensic treatment services.” The amended bill passed 12–0.

Read the bill at http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2016/bills/house/1102