(STATEHOUSE) - State Sen. Brent Steele's (R-Bedford) legislation updating Indiana's felony code for the first time in more than 30 years was signed into law today by Gov. Mike Pence.
Steele said House Enrolled Act 1006 is aimed at ensuring Indiana's criminal sentencing policies are fair and consistent for both victims and offenders.
HEA 1006 establishes a new sentencing system that divides felonies into six levels instead of four. The system also puts tighter restrictions on the worst offenders' ability to get out of prison early. Offenders must now serve at least 75 percent of their sentence as opposed to 50 percent under previous law.
"Our criminal justice system cannot work effectively if it is not equitable and balanced, with prison resources focused on our most dangerous criminals," said Steele, a practicing attorney in Bedford. "I thank Gov. Pence for his support of the first full-scale update to our state's felony code since the 1970s."
Steele advanced several other bills this session to improve Indiana's criminal justice system. Other bills signed by the governor include:
- House Enrolled Act 1016 to promote rehabilitation in the state's justice system by expanding problem solving courts.
- House Enrolled Act 1053 to improve Indiana's sex offender registry.
- House Enrolled Act 1108 to establish sentencing alternatives for youthful offenders.
- House Enrolled Act 1482 to give offenders a fresh start by allowing for expungement of certain crimes if offenders demonstrate their rehabilitation.
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