STATEHOUSE (March 24, 2016) – Gov. Mike Pence this week signed into law legislation authored by State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) increasing punishments for human traffickers and improving juvenile justice programs.
House Enrolled Act 1199 requires an individual found guilty of promoting the trafficking of a minor to register as a sex offender on the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry. After serving their sentence, offenders would be placed in either a community transition program, a community corrections program or probation. The Indiana Department of Correction and police officers across the state monitor the database, which allows them to track these offenders and ensure they are not continuing to promote human trafficking after they are released.
“Approximately one human trafficking investigation is opened every month in Indiana,” McNamara said. “This is not an issue that is just occurring overseas or in other states, it is happening in Hoosier communities. We need to address this crime by implementing stricter penalties on those who not only directly participate and profit from human trafficking, but those who promote it as well.”
McNamara is also working to make Indiana’s juvenile justice programs more effective by requiring the Commission on Improving the Status of Children to study and evaluate innovative juvenile justice programs, and consult with the Justice Reinvestment Advisory Council on how funds should be better used.
“Indiana needs focus on providing innovative and realistic approaches to juvenile corrections that are specifically designed for the unique circumstances surrounding juvenile crime,” McNamara said. “Oftentimes, there are underlying problems of drug abuse, which lands them in the corrections system, and the commission’s primary goal should be addressing these issues and reintroducing them into society.”
Visit iga.in.gov to learn more about these new laws.
Rep. McNamara (R-Evansville) represents portions of Posey and Vanderburgh counties.