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Helping Hoosiers be smart on crime, soft on taxpayers

Apr 26, 2021 by AFP

Indiana is spending nearly $32 million a year — about $22,000 per person — to incarcerate 1,451 people who, if convicted today, would likely receive vastly shorter sentences.

Michael Chartier, state director for Americans for Prosperity-Indiana, joined forces with retired Lt. Jay Hall, a 24-year law enforcement veteran and former Indiana parole officer who now serves as a speaker for the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, to write in the Indianapolis Business Journal that it’s time to bring this iniquity to an end.

“Beyond the profound illogic and injustice to those affected,” they write, “this inconsistent application of the state’s sentencing laws has come at a high cost to Indiana taxpayers and communities.”

In 2014, the state reduced the sentencing range judges can impose for certain nonviolent offenses. But it did not make those sentencing changes retroactive.

Chartier and Hall call on the state legislature to remedy that oversight this year.

With nearly seven years of experience with the 2014 law, it is time to finish the job, HB 1202 would allow eligible individuals to access their first parole hearing at 15 years of incarceration rather than 25 years if they have served 75% of their sentence. Individuals can earn earlier access to parole by completing certain educational programs.

In today’s political climate, there are few issues on which there is such broad support across the ideological and political spectrum. Read Chartier and Hall’s call in the Indianapolis Business Journal for common-sense reforms that are smart on crime and soft on taxpayers.