McNamara’s new law aims to build upon juvenile justice reforms

McNamara’s new law aims to build upon juvenile justice reforms

Posted by: Jessica Baker  | Thursday, May 25, 2017 3:00 pm

STATEHOUSE (May 25, 2017) – Gov. Eric Holcomb today ceremonially signed State Rep. Wendy McNamara’s (R-Evansville) legislation which aims to help those who have been victimized by human trafficking and give local communities the tools needed to address at-risk youth.

“This law is a continuation of ongoing efforts to address juvenile justice issues and provide commonsense pathways for juveniles who find themselves in adverse situations,” McNamara said. “This measure joins several other pieces of legislation I authored in previous years, building and improving upon our responses to the needs of at-risk and incarcerated youth in Indiana.”

McNamara said the law will better equip county community corrections advisory boards with the expertise and insight to tackle local juvenile justice issues. These boards are a mandatory component for local governments to qualify and apply for state community corrections grants. The measure will add four new positions to local community corrections boards. McNamara said experts will be able to consider and make local policy changes as well as forward recommendations to the Indiana Department of Corrections on how to better handle juvenile offenders.

The new law will also help human trafficking victims on the road to recovery.  The law provides that an individual who committed a criminal offense while also the victim of human trafficking is entitled to have the offense expunged from their record, if certain conditions are met.

Additionally, House Enrolled Act 1218 makes several updates to how juvenile records are expunged. Once made confidential, the data would still be used for statistical purposes on a secure database system to study criminological trends and to apply for juvenile grant programs.

This law goes into effect July 1.

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State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) represents House District 76,
which includes portions of Posey and Vanderburgh counties.

A high-resolution photo of McNamara can be downloaded by clicking
here.