Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett just announced major changes to the city's criminal justice system — changes YOU made happen through your work with IndyCAN.
As you know, IndyCAN has been working with the Mayor's office for more than a year to overhaul the city's criminal justice system. Last year, as people of faith, we stopped the proposed criminal justice center and shifted the conversation to one of criminal justice reform.
Where we've been
In May, Mayor Hogsett's administration announced criminal justice reform would be its top priority. His State of the City address included a commitment to deliver recommendations by the end of the year.
In September, IndyCAN released The People's Roadmap to End Incarceration in Marion County at The People's Hearing on Criminal Justice Reform. We specifically outlined a series of policies and proven strategies the Mayor's Office would need to implement if the city would successfully reach true reform. The Mayor's Office verbally committed to include these policies in recommendations.
"God sees each and every one of us, through our shortcomings and through our strengths," said Pastor John Davis. "The Bible chronicles many stories of brokenness, where prominent characters guilty of sin are not only forgiven for their mistakes, but fully restored to their relationships with God and society. That's what we hope Hogsett's criminal justice reform will look like."
Where we're headed
Today, the mayor's new plan was released publicly, and IndyCAN's impact on the state of criminal justice reform is clear.
Mayor Hogsett's plan to overhaul the city's criminal justice system includes many of the specific items IndyCAN's People's Roadmap proposed, including:
- Pre-arrest diversion and intervention. A plan is now in place for mental health professionals and law enforcement to assess individuals for substance abuse and mental illness before locking them behind bars, intervening by diverting them instead to treatment that can help them get past these problems.
- A New Crisis Assesment and Intervention Center for Marion County. Individuals assessed with mental health and substance use problems will recieve treatment, then work with a team of professionals to identify a long-term plan.
- Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training. By 2018, all police officers and 9-1-1 operators will be trained to properly intervene in crises. To date, half of the Indianapolis Metro Police Department officers have been trained.
- Pre-trial services and bail reform. Just weeks ago, the Indiana Supreme Court barred judges from leveraging a money bail unless a defendant poses a flight risk or is a danger to self or others. IndyCAN helped revise the state's policy, which had until meant long-term incarceration simply because one could not afford bail.
- Create a Culture of Transparency. A modern data system that tracks the race of those arrested, charged, and jailed and for what crimes, how long they are there, and how many are not convicted. Annually published online.
The mayor heard us, IndyCAN leaders, and he took action!
You recognized a problem. You fought to make it right. And you have made a monumental impact on the city that will impact generations to come. Congratulations!
We are still working through the details of the plan, but it's clear that this is a victory for IndyCAN and our families, friends and communities.
Thank you for all you do!
Rev. Juard Barnes
IndyCAN - Live Free Campaign