House Bill 1416 helps inmates gain valuable education
Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Mt. Vernon) authored House Bill 1416, which requires inmates to have correspondence courses approved in advance by the Department of Correction (DOC). Co-authors on this bill were Rep. Battles (D-Vincennes) and Rep. Dermody (R-LaPorte) and the bill was sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Waterman (R-Shelburn) and Sen. Young (R-Indianapolis).
"I am pleased to see this bill pass both the House and Senate," said Rep. McNamara. "This bill was needed to confirm the validity of correspondent courses inmates are using to obtain their high school diplomas and to help ensure inmates are gaining a valuable education through this program.
DOC reports that offenders are attempting to buy diplomas from out-of-state correspondence schools and then claiming to have earned credit time, thus allowing them to receive a reduced sentence. This bill would specify that correspondence courses be approved by the DOC and accredited by the Department of Education. DOC also reports that in the 2010 calendar year it was involved in 110 cases in which offenders claimed earned credit time after receiving diplomas from unaccredited correspondence programs.
"This bill tells inmates where they can obtain a permissible education that will allow them to earn a high school diploma and qualify them for a reduced sentence," said Rep. McNamara.
House Bill 1416 received bipartisan support in both chambers and now returns to the House for a concurrence.