Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Westside

April 10, 2013

DOC says criminal code bill will spike prison numbers

Shortly after Gov. Mike Pence caught lawmakers by surprise with his opposition to a major criminal code reform bill, the state Department of Correction is projecting the bill will blow up the state’s prison population far beyond what the legislature’s non-partisan research agency says it will.

The DOC’s projections, which say the state’s prison population could grow by 70 percent in 20 years if the bill becomes law, caught supporters of the bill by surprise during a recent committee hearing on the legislation.

Republican State Sen. Brent Steele of Bedford, a key sponsor of House Bill 1006, sharply questioned the validity of the DOC numbers both during the hearing and afterwards, when he likened the projections to “ninja smoke.”

House Bill 1006 rewrites the criminal code to lessen penalties for low-level drug offenders and toughen punishment for the worst sex and violent offenders. Backers of the bill have long argued that it would slow down the rise in Indiana’s prison population. The DOC projections, released by DOC deputy commissioner Randy Koester, conflict with a Legislative Services Agency analysis that says the bill would lead to a small increase in prison population before dropping off.

While the LSA analysis predicts the prison population would top off at about 30,000 (up from the current 28,000) within a few years if the bill is passed, the DOC projects the bill will “explode” the prison population to almost 48,000 by 2023.

Steele said he questioned the DOC’s ability to project the prison population that far into the future. He said anyone who believes they can make that kind of projection “believe(s) in ninja smoke.” (A reference, Steele explained, to the magical smoke used by ninja warriors to distract onlookers as the ninja disappears.)

Steele and the bill’s House author, Republican state Rep. Greg Steuerwald of Avon, are committed to pushing ahead with the bill. It’s already passed the Republican-controlled House and has strong support from Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma, who’s been at odds with Pence over the governor’s proposed income tax rate cut.

Text Only
Westside
  • Footlite Musicals concludes 2013-14 season with 'Nine' Critics have described the musical "Nine," running May 2-4, 8-10, 15-18 at Footlite Musicals, as "lush/hypnotic" and "a true piece of arm come to life onstage." Footlite's production will be presented at the Hedback Community Theater, 1847 N. Alabama

    April 22, 2014

  • Indy Zoo sponsors recycling event With Earth Day just around the corner, the Indianapolis Zoo is inviting area residents to do something kind for Mother Earth by participating in Power Recycling Weekend, presented by Ingram Micro, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 26 and 27 in the zoo park

    April 22, 2014

  • Sun King Brewery set to unveil 'Cara Mia' Broadway in Indianapolis and Sun King Brewery announce the creation of "Cara Mia," a Sun King seasonal beer, in conjunction with the arrival of "The Addams Family" in Indianapolis. The kegs will be tapped from 6 to 8 p.m. April 23 at The Glossbrenner

    April 22, 2014

  • WSF 4-22 news puppy pitstop pic 1 Puppy Pitstop comes to Speedway SPEEDWAY -- A new doggy daycare has made its debut in Speedway and has already been a big hit with locals in three weeks it's been open. Puppy Pitstop is owned by four animal-loving families who wanted to save the building that once housed Dog Tracks

    April 22, 2014 5 Photos

  • WSF 4-22 news reading pros pic 3 Reading like pros Members of the Indiana Pacers All-Star Reading Team served as guest readers at the Read Like A Pro Reading TimeOut event last week at McClelland Elementary School. The event lasted for about an hour and was presented by Cargo Services. Kelli Towles,

    April 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Allyson performs at The Cabaret After a dozen releases on Concord Jazz over the course of two decades and three Grammy nominations, Karrin Allyson says she still believes the best way to listen to jazz is in a small, quiet club. She'll perform songs from her vast career as well as

    April 22, 2014

  • WSF 4-22 spt bd tennis pic-2 Orioles sweep Giants in girls' tennis play Orioles sweep Giants in girls' tennis play By Ryan Palencer Flyer Correspondent

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • WSF 4-22 news ballard visits chapel hill pix 2 Mayor holds meeting in Wayne Township Mayor Greg Ballard is making the rounds and spent some time in Wayne Township last week, holding one of his Mayor's Night Out meetings at the Chapel Hill 7th & 8th Grade Center. He started the meeting talking about crime. "Generally speaking, the cit

    April 22, 2014 5 Photos

  • WSF 4-22 spt beaty pic-1 Two-sport Ben Davis star weighing options In a world where high school athletes choose to specialize earlier and earlier, Ben Davis senior Michael Beaty has been an anomaly in his sporting endeavors. Now, with the end of his senior year nearing, Beaty is trying to set his future plans after

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • WSF 4-22 news bduhs four star pix 2 BDUHS named Four Star School The Indiana Department of Education has chosen Ben Davis University High School as a Four Star School for performing in the upper 25th percentile of schools in three ISTEP-based categories. The award is for achievements in the 2012-13 school year. B

    April 22, 2014 3 Photos

House Ads
Hendricks County Marquee
Email News Sign Up
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

New poll question: Will you be attending this year’s Indianapolis 500?

Yes
No
Undecded
     View Results
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Must Read