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Several bills targeting crime in Marion County sent to governor

The Indiana House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code unanimously passed House Bill 1359, which would create several juvenile justice reforms.
FILE: Charlotte Tuggle/WBAA
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The Indiana House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code unanimously passed House Bill 1359, which would create several juvenile justice reforms.

By Katrina Pross

Multiple bills that target crime in Marion County were sent to Gov. Eric Holcomb's desk for final approval.

The bills, HB 1300, SB 7 and SB 9 aim to address multiple areas of the criminal justice system including bail, electronic monitoring and violent crime reduction.

Two of the bills, SB 7 and SB 9, were originally introduced as part of a Senate Republican package of five bills. The three other bills in the package, SB 6, SB 8 and SB 10 were consolidated into other legislation.

HB 1300 creates more restrictions for those arrested for violent crimes and for nonprofit or “charitable” bail organizations that help low income individuals pay their bail.

The legislation comes after nonprofit bail organizations faced criticism when individuals whose bail was paid by the Bail Project went on to allegedly commit more crimes. SB 6 and SB 8 were consolidated into this bill.

SB 7 will make a Marion County violent reduction pilot program. Under the bill, multiple law enforcement agencies including the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Indiana State Police will work together to tackle crime. A crime reduction board will also be formed to oversee the program.

After receiving criticism that the board only included officials and members of law enforcement, lawmakers agreed to appoint a civilian member to the board. SB 10 was combined into this bill.

SB 9 establishes regulations for individuals who are placed on electronic monitoring. It creates standards for monitoring such as notification time frames and when a defendant escapes.

Additionally under the bill, if a juvenile placed on electronic monitoring for committing a status offense disables their monitoring device, they will be charged with another status offense instead of a felony.

Contact WFYI criminal justice reporter Katrina Pross at kpross@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @katrina_pross.

Pross is a Corps Member of Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project.
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