Rep. Steuerwald took major steps towards reforming Indiana’s Criminal Code
STATEHOUSE— The 2013 legislative session has come to an end, and Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon) is pleased to see some his bills become law this session: House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1006 and HEA 1053.
“I have focused on implementing laws that will keep Hoosiers safe in our communities,” said Rep. Steuerwald. “HEA 1006 lays the foundation for the revision of Indiana’s criminal code for the first time in 30 plus years. It provides for certainty in sentencing, we must provide that the most violent offenders are sentenced for a more definite period. Victims will be fully informed of how long the offender’s sentence will actually be. The effective date of the HB 1006 is July 1, 2014 so we can revise the proposed sentencing guidelines and receive comment from experts in the criminal justice system.”
HEA 1006 was a product of the Criminal Code Evaluation Commission (CCEC), a summer study committee, which was to add proportionality to the criminal code and certainty in sentencing. The focus was on breaking the cycle through intensive probation to address the cause of the crime not just the symptoms. The changes that the CCEC recommended expand the four classes to six by dividing Class A and Class B into two parts each.
Indiana Republicans and Democrats came together in a sustained effort to overhaul a criminal code that has not seen any significant changes in more than 30 years. Many people from around the state have spent thousands of hours studying Indiana’s justice system, recommending improvements to the criminal laws and identifying methods that have proven to reduce crime. That effort resulted in HEA 1006, which created a qualified committee to thoroughly study a proposed rewrite of Indiana’s entire criminal code. The goal of the committee is to examine the proposed updated code and create a way for Indiana to cut state prison costs, while providing a sentence grid that applies a more specific sentence to criminal offenses, creating a safer and more responsible state.