Tell Indiana To Change Expensive Sentencing Practices
  • Petitioned Indiana State House

This petition was delivered to:

Indiana State House
Indiana State Senate

Tell Indiana To Change Expensive Sentencing Practices

    1. Elizabeth Renter
    2. Petition by

      Elizabeth Renter

      Clayton, NC

Indiana is on the brink of making some major progressive changes to their criminal sentencing practices. Governor Mitch Daniels announced his support on Wednesday for sweeping changes that could ultimately save over a billion dollars in the next seven years. Not just fiscally responsible, these changes would also serve to halt the progression of the incarceration monster, a beast that caused Indiana’s inmate population to skyrocket 41% from 2000 to 2008.

In a report commissioned by the state, the Pew Center on the States and the Council of State Governments Justice Center revealed that Indiana had the fastest growing prison population in the nation. And of these, more than 55% of new incarcerations were for drug offenses and nonviolent thefts.

These two organizations made a series of recommendations to stop the prison growth and save the state an estimated $1.2 Billion between now and 2017. Though all of these recommendations haven’t been released to the public yet, the Governor is pushing lawmakers to get busy on drafting legislation to make them a reality. Some sources say legislators have already begun preparing such prison-reform bills they hope to pass in this upcoming session.

Sentencing reform holds crucial benefits not only to the state’s budget but also to public safety. By reserving prison for the most violent and highest risk offenders, the public can rest assured that their money is being spent to incarcerate those who truly pose a risk to their communities. Under current laws, judges have little to no discretion in who gets locked up—sending low risk drug offenders to the same fate as those convicted of violent crimes.

Governor Mitch Daniels and Indiana lawmakers in both parties stand poised to make changes to the current system. While legislation hasn’t been drafted yet, it’s important that an issue with this much seeming support not be allowed to fade as weeks pass. Show Indiana lawmakers you support efforts to cut costs and decrease the further over-incarceration of the Hoosier State.

Photo Credit: Bart Everson 

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 100 signatures
    2. County Prosecutors Pushing Back Against Proposed Indiana Sentencing Reform

      Charles Davis
      Petition Organizer

      It was bound to happen: a fiscally responsible recommendation that promotes more judicial discretion and less incarceration has been labeled “soft on crime” by the Association of Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys.
      The proposed legislation stands to...

    3. Indiana May Drastically Reform Sentencing Practices

      Charles Davis
      Petition Organizer

      Indiana is on the brink of making some major progressive changes to their criminal sentencing practices. Governor Mitch Daniels announced his support last week for sweeping reforms that could ultimately save over a billion dollars in the next seven...


    Reasons for signing

    • Bergandy Gardner ELKHART, IN
      • almost 3 years ago

      Because there are many other options that work for the victims of the system as well as the state. Being in prison for the rest of their lives is not the answer. Give people a chance to change. Besides there needs to be more focus on the drug users than the drug dealer. The user is just going to find another dealer. Incarcerating a dealer is not the best use of my hard earned tax money.

    • Lillian Gutierrez Newman NOBLESVILLE, IN
      • over 3 years ago

      My daughter was made to work full time for free for her sentence. Means she couldn't pay her rent and food. So we have done this for her, to the tune of $1380. Today in my bank account, I have 75 cents. Indiana, really! If you are going to give them service hours, please be fair with it knowing they have to support themselves! My daughter has paid over $1000 herself, and she's broke. She told me she has $5 to her name and that's it. She is also out of a job since she can't work, because she's working for her sentence. Indiana, you're increasing dependency also on the welfare system. Find another way and be compassionate!

    • Debra Stoffer ELKHART, IN
      • over 3 years ago

      The money we are spending on incarceration, then re-incarcerations is because we aren't addressing the addiction issue in the first place. Probation officers should not be "cops" they should help people get to the help they need and monitor their progress.Prosecutors don't want this to pass, it hurts their records as they "advance" in the political hierarchy. It costs families a small fortune and they have already lost a breadwinner. Taxpayers pay for the prison system and then for families to live on public assistance-so we get hit at least twice under the current sentencing laws. DUH!

    • Leann Cooper MONTICELLO, IN
      • over 3 years ago

      Unfortunately I have experienced the County jails in a few towns. Myself for a secratarys mistake in an insurance claim that I never recieved a public appology for. Too, my oldest son. I have always said there needed to be mental health involved in every jail and prison. I am so glad to hear of this research that the Pew Center has done. Very Good Job!


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