Law and Criminal Justice

Anna Hanks / https://www.flickr.com/photos/annaustin/15405501922/

Federal prosecutors want former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle to be locked up for the maximum amount of time possible. Fogle is pleading guilty to paying for sex with underage girls.

U.S. Attorney Steven DeBrota is asking a federal judge in Indianapolis to sentence Fogle to 12.5 years in prison and then a lifetime of parole, the maximum possible under Fogle’s August guilty plea.

Federal Bureau of Prisons

Dozens of offenders have been freed in Indiana as part of the largest U.S. prison release in history. The massive release comes after a commission overhauled federal drug sentencing guidelines.  

Federal Bureau of Prisons Spokesman Ed Ross says at least 64 offenders have been released in Indiana. While some were serving time at the federal prison in Terre Haute, the majority of all offenders impacted by the new sentencing guidelines were in halfway houses.  

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

The Indiana Supreme Court is deciding whether sex offenders from other states should be automatically required to put their names on Indiana's offender registry.

A 2006 law declared any sex offender required to register in another state must register in Indiana if he moves here.

Chief Justice Loretta Rush questions the ramifications of the argument that Indiana shouldn’t blindly follow stricter registry requirements from other states.

Barbara Harrington / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Communities and law enforcement agencies across Indiana are looking to the General Assembly for guidance on police body camera policies.

West Lafayette’s police force has been using body cameras for about a year.  Chief Jason Dombkowski says he used resources from, among others, the Department of Justice and the International Association of Chiefs of Police when developing a policy for those body cams.  But he says, particularly on privacy concerns and redacting video, he’d like guidance from the legislature:

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

The Lafayette Police Department is hoping new initiatives to increase visibility and effectiveness in the community will help crack down on an increase in drug-related crime.

Mayor Tony Roswarski says the amount of drug-related crime has increased along with the statewide surge in heroin and methamphetamine use. As the police pointed out Thursday, hardly anyone robs a convenience store or commits fraud against their friends family in order to buy a family dinner.

Indiana House Democrats / http://indianahousedemocrats.org

Attorney General Greg Zoeller Wednesday announced the creation of a non-profit organization dedicated to helping sexual assault victims.  The new group will fill the role vacated when the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault, or INCASA, fell apart last year.

The new organization is called the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault.  Using public and private dollars, it will connect sexual assault service efforts around the state, provide support for victims and training for advocates. 

Jimmy Emerson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/4716903349

After a year of struggling to bring an HIV epidemic under control, the Scott County city of Austin is now confronting a problem of police manpower.

Austin has six officers for a city of 4,300. However, police say federal standards suggest the city should have twice that much manpower.

Mayor Doug Campbell says the police force has been undermanned for years, even before the drug problem blamed for the HIV outbreak led to more police calls too.

VIEVU / http://www.vievu.com/

Indiana law enforcement and municipal officials caution lawmakers Wednesday against a broad policy of releasing police body camera videos to the public, citing both privacy and due process concerns. 

Indiana’s public access law doesn’t specifically mention police body camera footage.  But it does have what’s called an “investigatory record” exception – meaning that law enforcement can indefinitely withhold information if it’s involved in an investigation, even after the investigation is over.

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

Just one year after Indiana’s comprehensive criminal code overhaul took effect, the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council wants to increase drug dealing penalties. 

Indiana’s criminal code reform, which took five years to craft, was aimed largely at reducing penalties for low-level, nonviolent drug offenses in an effort to focus more on treatment and reduce recidivism. 

But a year into that reform, Prosecuting Attorneys Council head David Powell says he wants to add more teeth to the state’s drug dealing sentences.

Ynse / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ynse/542370154/

If you’re arrested for a felony in Indiana, should the police automatically take a DNA sample to keep on file?  That’s the question a panel of lawmakers considered this week during a study committee hearing.

In Indiana, police input an offender’s DNA for comparison in a national database only after conviction of a felony.  So-called “DNA arrestee testing” laws would allow law enforcement to take those samples after a felony arrest. 

Pages