Assessing the Local Fiscal Impact of HEA 1006
Evaluating the Indiana Alternative Sentencing Law
Indiana House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1006, which took effect in July 2014, is the first sweeping revision to Indiana’s criminal code in 35 years. The purpose of HEA 1006 is to design a proportional sentencing scheme that is equitable to both offenders and victims. The intention is that, as a result of these changes, those going to prison will be the most serious offenders and they will remain in prison for longer periods. Those who are convicted for less serious offenses are to be kept in local jurisdictions and treated by local service providers.
Researchers from AIR were engaged to assess HEA 1006's likely impact on county-level probation, community corrections, treatment programs, and public safety professionals. To achieve this goal, AIR completed six tasks between September and December 2013. Based on the full analysis presented in this report, we made recommendations which included the following:
- There should be a new appropriation in the state budget that allocates $10.5 Million each year for enhancing and addressing the local fiscal impact of HEA 1006.
- The appropriation of new financial resources at the state level should be for the expressed purpose to help build local capacity to meet the demands related to the implementation of HEA 1006 and should not have any impact on the existing resources already allocated for local community corrections.
- The newly allocated funds would be distributed by a designated state agency that can provide the structure, and the experience to serve as the conduit for distribution of these funds.
- It is not necessary to look outside the state to find experts that can serve as trainers and peer coaches for other agencies looking to implement these evidence-based practices.
- There should be another study that provides technical assistance to the counties to prepare a data-driven plan that assesses their needs and demands for additional support.
- It will also be important to make separate appropriations for establishing a statewide evaluation of the implementation of HEA 1006.