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Legislators Debate Funding For Criminal Code Overhaul

Criminal Code Evaluation Commission

Photo: Brandon Smith/IPBS

Criminal Code Evaluation Commission members have been meeting to work out the details of the law that takes effect next year.

Last session, the General Assembly passed a massive criminal code revision bill.

It doesn’t take effect until next year, leaving lawmakers time to complete the comprehensive effort, work that includes developing sentencing guidelines and reclassifying some criminal offenses.

The biggest unfinished portion is funding – the measure’s authors say the bill should shift more offenders away from prisons into local community corrections programs, meaning those programs will need more money. But the Department of Correction and the General Assembly’s research agency can’t agree on the bill’s impact.

State Senator Mike Young, R-Indianapolis, says two studies are now underway to help develop an answer.

“One of them’s going to take 14 counties and try to replicate this bill, what would happen, to get us those costs that would occur to the locals,” Young says. “That will come sometime in December.”

Young says the goal is to prepare legislation needed to complete the overhaul in time for the General Assembly to pass it after the session begins in January.

As we’ve reported lawmakers say they’re confident they will meet that deadline.

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