drug crime

 

Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush told lawmakers Wednesday in her State of the Judiciary address the state’s court system is prepared to meet the challenges it faces – chief among them the ongoing opioid epidemic.

Rush says she asked legislative leaders for input when preparing her speech. And she says the common theme was the court’s response to the drug crisis.

 

A key Indiana state lawmaker wants to dramatically increase penalties for certain drug and gun crimes.

The General Assembly rewrote its criminal code in recent years. Its aim was to drive more nonviolent, mostly drug offenders out of the prison system and into local treatment programs. And part of that was by giving judges more discretion in sentencing – to be able to decide what’s best for an individual offender.

Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) wants to undo some of that.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski has been among the chorus of voices saying his city can’t, as the saying goes, “arrest its way out of a drug problem.”

But now that the Indiana General Assembly has made Tippecanoe County a pilot site for a new opioid treatment program, will the mayor be more bullish on that as a solution than he has been on the idea of a needle exchange? We put that question to him this week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor.

U.S. Department of Agriculture / https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/

A Senate committee on Monday approved a bill that would extend Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits — also known as SNAP or food stamps — to former offenders convicted of certain drug-related offenses.

A federal law prohibits former criminals convicted of, for example, trafficking controlled substances, from receiving food stamp benefits. States can choose to do away with the federal ban with a positive legislative vote.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Despite objections from Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski, the Tippecanoe County Commissioners have voted to move ahead with trying to create a needle exchange program in the county. This week, on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we ask Mayor Roswarski if there’s a way his community can fight both the spread of communicable disease and the rise in drug-related crime it’s seen in the past couple years.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

It’s been a week Democrats in Tippecanoe County and around the state would like to forget.

But pundits say there’s not much of a left-leaning pipeline of young candidates being groomed to run in future elections.

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we ask one prominent Democrat – Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski – whether he sees a coming generation of politicos in his party or whether more disappointment is in store.

Interiorrain / https://www.flickr.com/photos/photomemoriesflopes/

A group of Indiana lawmakers is recommending the General Assembly take up a draft bill that would offer addiction treatment to certain misdemeanor offenders.

The state currently offers such treatment to select low-level felons as part of the newly-formed Recovery Works program, which allows justice officials to decide whether to offer vouchers for services such as addiction counseling and detox programs.

Crawfordsville mayor's office

Like a lot of Indiana cities, Crawfordsville has seen an increase in drug crime in recent years.

The city has taken some steps, such as increasing patrols, but is there more Todd Barton’s administration could do to wield the power of big data in the city’s favor?

We put that question to him today on Ask The Mayor.

Also on this week’s program, the city has some unexpected budget issues to clear up – everything from putting off new power company improvements to figuring out how someone embezzled enough money from the city’s golf course to put it in the red.

Lafayette Mayor's Office

Some police department across the state have responded to a new police body camera law by discontinuing their programs.

Lafayette took a different approach – choosing to charge as much as the law would allow for copies of any footage.

This week on Ask The Mayor, we do some math with Lafayette’s Tony Roswarski and attempt to determine how providing those copies can cost that much.

Also on this week’s show, we ask about the replacement for Loeb Stadium, a fixture in Lafayette baseball circles for generations.

Lafayette Police Department

At the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016, Lafayette leaders announced several initiatives aimed at stemming the drug use that fuels a significant portion of the major crimes committed in the city.

Through six months of the year, crime is down about three percent from the first half of 2015, though still well above levels from 2010 and 2011.

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