With age and experience should come wisdom. Sometimes that wisdom results in the decision to end a non-functional Indiana marriage and start a new and better life. The Pew Research Center reports that although divorce is less common for younger adults, “gray divorce” is increasing in the U.S. The divorce rate for those fifty and older has roughly doubled, and for those 65 and older that rate has about tripled, since the 1990’s. The divorce rate is not uniform across age groups. In 2015, 21 adults aged 40 to 49 divorced per 1,000 married persons in that age range, up slightly from 18 in 1990. The divorce rate for those 25 to 39 decreased from 30 persons per 1,000 married[…..]

More than one in 20 people in Indiana admit having engaged in non-medical use of opioid pain relievers. And with similar percentages of Kentucky’s citizens in the same sad predicament, federal, state and local law enforcement is aggressively attacking this social and legal tragedy nationwide. Eighteen states have adopted comprehensive mandates in the past four years requiring doctors who prescribe opioids – oxycodone, hydrocodone, Xanax and others – and other controlled substances to check databases to learn whether their patients are addicts who get these drugs elsewhere. Prescribers – mainly physicians – can see which drugs their patients are obtaining and whether they are going to other prescribers to obtain opioids. And even though opioid abusers often cross state lines[…..]

We all respond to incentives. If we do a good job, we might get a raise, or maybe just some praise. Positive reinforcement results in people doing more of the same thing. The same may be true of Indiana law enforcement, who may be chasing dollars of those accused of being involved in the illegal drug trade, whether or not they’re arrested and convicted. Federal and state civil forfeiture laws allow police to seize, keep or sell up to 80% of property they claim is involved in a crime. Property owners need not be arrested or convicted of a crime for their cash, car or real estate to be taken away by law enforcement agencies. These laws were originally supposed[…..]

DNA testing has a reputation for producing concrete evidence that a person committed a crime, or at least was at a crime scene. But too much confidence in genetic testing may be resulting in innocent people being convicted or pleading guilty to Indiana crimes they didn’t commit, in order to avoid the risks of going to trial. The technology of DNA testing may not be mature enough to accurately and reliably do the job prosecutors and police are asking it to do. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has started a new study of some kinds of DNA analysis used by police labs in criminal prosecutions, reports McNeely Stephensonhas faithfully served the people and communities of Indiana for[…..]

Civil Litigation

For as long as there has been law enforcement in Indiana and Kentucky, innocent people have gotten caught up in ProPublica found at least ten instances in the last nineteen years where defendants with viable innocence claims agreed to Alford pleas (maintaining their innocence but admitting there’s enough evidence to convict) or deals where it was agreed that time already served in prison was enough punishment. In these cases, new evidence was found showing the defendant was innocent and it was persuasive enough to justify new trials or evidentiary hearings. The benefit of these types of deals for the defendant is being released from custody. The downside is that these innocent people are stigmatized; they have a conviction on their[…..]

Indiana Paternity Attorney

This year the Trump administration opened up a new front on trying to reduce undocumented immigrants. It has targeted families of children who crossed the Mexican border in an effort to escape violence and criminal gangs in their home countries. These asylum seekers are often cared for by family members after they get to the U.S. Indiana caregivers who are undocumented immigrants may find themselves targeted for deportation and possible criminal prosecution in what the administration states is an effort to cut down on human smuggling. When unaccompanied children and teens who cross the Mexican border are found by Immigration and Citizenship Enforcement (ICE) agents, the agency seeks out family members to care for them during the immigration process that[…..]

The United States leads the world in many things, including putting people in prison. This has resulted in massive spending on Kentucky, Indiana and federal prison systems which do a poor job of rehabilitating people, so many just end up back in the system. Probation is an alternative to incarceration; but if probation officers and the system they work for aren’t equipped to properly supervise and help rehabilitate people, probation is another problem – not a solution. Reducing the number of people on probation can make the system more effective for both public safety and for offenders,  if it’s done correctly, according to a report by the Harvard Kennedy School Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management. It states: A[…..]

The state of Kentucky recently passed a new law, House Bill 492, that encourages divorcing parents to work toward a “shared parenting” solution rather than granting one parent primary custody over the other. This law was passed not just with the best interests of the children in mind, but the parents’ best long-term interests as well. And while Kentucky is one of the first states to pass such a law, it is expected that more states will begin to follow suit as the benefits of shared parenting arrangements become clearer. What is a Shared Parenting Arrangement? Essentially, a shared parenting arrangement is a custody solution that is put in place following a divorce or legal separation. In a shared parenting[…..]

Child support in a divorce ensures that parents give their child the quality of life and support they intended to provide while they were still married. It’s a critical component of most divorce agreements when the couple has children. Yet what many parents fail to consider is what will happen to their child’s quality of life and their support payments if at some point in the future the supporting parent dies or becomes disabled. In these instances, the income providing the support stops, but the child’s need for support does not. One way to ensure that the child will receive all of the support necessary, in spite of obstacles like these, is through insuring the child support. Many parents are[…..]

It is no secret that there is a massive issue with overpopulation in many of Kentucky’s prisons. In fact, actual prison population numbers across Kentucky have been significantly higher than consensus projections for many years and show no signs of slowing down any time soon. Much of this over-population is a direct result of low parole rates, long sentences, and strict second-offender laws in the state of Kentucky. Recently, Governor Matt Bevin announced that a Criminal Justice Policy Assessment Council will be created to work toward penal code reforms that are so clearly needed to reduce incarceration rates state-wide and free up funding for other public needs. Contributing Factors to Overpopulation The main contributing factors to prison overpopulation in the[…..]