In 2013, the State of Indiana addressed prison overcrowding by adopting legislation providing alternative sentencing for lower-level nonviolent felonies, and increasing the proportion of offenders under correctional supervision in the community. The new law allows many sentences to be fully suspended, but is tougher on violent offenses by increasing the proportion of the sentence that must be served in prison and decreasing the time that can be reduced from a sentence due to participation in education or treatment programs.
To study the new law’s impact on corrections, probation, and treatment programs at the state, county, and community level, and on public safety professionals, AIR experts partnered with the State of Indiana in 2013 to conduct county-level assessments of the code’s proposals through
- quantitative analyses of county-specific risk assessment data;
- cost projections for evidence-based treatment;
- assessments of jail reports and phone interviews;
- surveys of available county treatment options; and
- focus groups with key stakeholders in ten counties.
Based on these assessments, AIR issued a report that quantified
- the need for effective treatment options at local levels;
- the fiscal impact on local jurisdictions due to shifting treatment and management of offenders; and
- the costs to introduce evidence-based programs that have been effective elsewhere.