Rep. Steuerwald’s Criminal Code reform one step closer to law
STATEHOUSE—State Representative Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon) authored House Bill (HB) 1006 which deals with a comprehensive overhaul to the Indiana Criminal Code. HB 1006 was co-authored by State Representative Jud McMillin (R-Brookville) and is part of an initiative to increase proportionality and certainty in sentencing as well as uniformity in the criminal code.
HB 1006 makes a variety of technical changes and updates to the court sentencing process. HB 1006 recently passed out of the House with overwhelming bipartisan support, 90-4.
“We’ve been working on these improvements to the Indiana Criminal Code for a number of years,” said Rep. Steuerwald. “The changes we made this year, after another thorough review in the Courts and Criminal Code Summer Study Commission and listening to all interested professionals, have produced a modern approach to criminal justice in Indiana.
HB 1006 was the result of the Criminal Code Evaluation Committee (CCEC), a sentencing policy study committee that has been researching and reviewing this issue since 2009. In addition to changes of the wording to make the Indiana Criminal Code more understandable and predictable, HB 1006 changes felony classification from a four-tier system (A-D) to a six-tier system (1-6).
“HB 1006 provides increased penalties for the most violent offenders while giving courts discretion to deal with non-violent offenders using evidence-based practices,” said Rep. Steuerwald.
HB1006 enhances penalties for certain controlled substance offenses if a person commits an offense within 250 feet of school property, a public park, a family housing complex, a child care facility or in the presence of a child younger than 18, knowing that the child is present.
“The rewrite was necessary to balance punitive and rehabilitative justice because the Indiana Criminal Code hasn’t been comprehensively reviews in decades and was severely outdated, so my colleagues and I made it a top priority to modernize it,” said Rep. Steuerwald. “It is with great respect for those who offered insights and suggestions throughout the process that I authored these two bills to bring certainty to sentencing and to help keep Hoosiers safe from the most violent offenders. The rewrite is a great accomplishment for our state, and I feel humbled to have been a part of the process.”
These bills will now move to the Senate for the second round of legislative discussion.