NEW The Supreme Court of Indiana rejected a petition by the ACLU requesting emergency rulemaking to reduce the number of people in jails and prisons as a response to COVID-19. The court stated in its order that many counties had already undertaken steps to reduce the number of people confined in jails and prisons, and “Indiana trial courts already have tools at their disposal to determine if pretrial detainees and convicted persons should be released from incarceration.”
Judiciary Branch-Led Change
NEW The Indiana Evidence Based Decision Making (EBDM) Initiative Pretrial Work Group received the results of a multi-county study regarding the impact of the Indiana Risk Assessment System-Pretrial Assessment Tool (IRAS-PAT) and the implementation of Criminal Rule 26, which requires jurisdictions to use evidence-based practices to make pretrial release decisions. Judge Mark Spitzer, who leads the group, indicated that the group will review the results and adjust the state’s pretrial standards accordingly, and grant pretrial certification to the pilot counties who participated in the study.
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that a trial court abused its discretion in denying a man’s motion to reduce his $250,000 cash-only bail. In Yeager v. Indiana, the court found that Yeager presented evidence of substantial mitigating factors, including his lifelong residence in the area, steady employment, and no criminal history except for a law enforcement encounter 15 years earlier. The court also noted that the only evidence that Yeager presented a threat to anyone was the evidence in the present case, which violated the presumption of innocence.
Public Law 106 (HB 112) specifies that a person may earn one day of good time credit for every four days served on pretrial home detention, but may not earn accrued time for time served on pretrial home detention.
Public Law 34 (HB 1047) amends the duties of the justice reinvestment advisory council to include the review and evaluation of pretrial services and solutions to address jail overcrowding.