INDIANAPOLIS – We’re continuing our deep dive into bail and GPS monitoring in Marion County after at least two people were murdered in July, allegedly by people wearing monitors and out on bail.
There are approximately 3,400 people on GPS monitoring and house arrest, which includes GPS monitoring, in Marion County between pre-trial release and post-conviction sentences. This does not include people who only use blood alcohol monitors.
Chief probation officer Christine Kerl of the Marion Superior Court probation department said people awaiting trial can go anywhere, except any place restricted by a judge or law enforcement officer. justice.
“Otherwise, they can move freely in the city, the community, the county, regardless of the restrictions imposed by the court, as long as they stay away from those areas, which are restricted,” Kerl explained. .
When deciding on bail, Kerl explained that risk assessments are performed by an officer trained to conduct Indiana’s risk assessment system. These risk assessments examine the likelihood of a person committing a new crime or returning to court.
“For me, we have to make sure that these assessments are accurate, that they are done right, that we have the investment, the tools and the staff available if the court releases them,” Kerl said. “Human behavior plays a role. There is no way I can guarantee that anyone, whether detained or not, will or will not make choices that then harm others.”
Kerl explained that the three main goals of the pre-trial services are “in line with best practices across the country: maximizing release, maximizing public safety, and maximizing court appearance.” Kerl said sometimes his staff would make a recommendation to the judge regarding release.
“Our [release] matrix has absolutely no built-in function, not at all, âexplained Kerl. “We had staff members who expressed, ‘Your honor, they’ve been in this before, maybe it’s not something that would be in the best service for this person to appear or for public safety. . “
This week we brought to light the murder cases against Marcus Garvin, charged with the murder and dismemberment of his girlfriend Christie Holt while on bail for another stabbing, and Jahion Jarrett, charged with the murder. of Lyft driver Hurts Presendieu during a robbery and throwing his body behind a church on the east side near 25th and Post last month.
Kerl declined to comment on ongoing cases, but said all risk assessments need to be done accurately and thoroughly.
“Are we making sure the right people are on the devices and if that’s the case, if that’s the court’s intention, then what does it do, we have to be sure that we go all the way, âKerl explained.
Results of Pre-Trial Release Supervision and Post-Sentencing Supervision
Kerl said that since September 2019, 95% of those on interim supervision had not retained new charges. But that leaves 5% who do. Kerl said she sympathizes with those who are victimized.
“Pure regret for what they went through, but rest assured and let them know that we, based on what we can actually predict to the best of our ability with risk assessments and tools, this is no is not my instinct, this is something that has been proven to be predictive of this, we do everything we can to make sure it is applied correctly and accurately, and if there is indeed a problem or problem. concern that occurs with this person that we know we are following these people, âKerl says.
Marion County Community Corrections Executive Director Scott Hohl provided an analysis of the data from June 16, 2021. The analysis looked at two datasets: suspects and homicide victims from March 2018 to February 2020 and victims and suspects of non-fatal shootings from January 2019 to February 2020.
The MCCC examined whether the individuals were under their agency’s supervision at the time of the incident and were involved in non-fatal homicides or shootings.
|Homicides from March 2018 to February 2020||Total cases: 552||Total under the supervision of the MCCC: 27||% of total homicide cases: 4.89||Total victims: 314||Total victims under the supervision of the MCCC: 15||% of total homicide victims: 4.78%||Total homicide suspects: 238||Total suspects under MCCC supervision: 12||% of total homicide suspects: 5.04%|
|Non-fatal shootings from January 2019 to February 2020||Total number of cases: 682||Total under the supervision of the MCCC: 16||% of total non-fatal shootings: 2.35%||Total number of non-fatal bullet victims: 531||Total victims under the supervision of the MCCC: 14||% of total non-fatal shots: 2.64%||Total non-fatal shooting suspects: 151||Total number of suspects of non-fatal shootings under MCCC supervision: 2||% of total suspects of non-fatal shootings: 1.32%|
The MCCC said it served a total of 22,645 people during the period from March 2018 to February 2020. The 27 people involved in homicides during that period represent 0.12% of the people they worked with.
For non-fatal shootings, the MCCC served 14,731 clients during the review period from January 2019 to February 2020. With 16 clients involved, or 0.11% of those assigned to the MCCC during this period.
âCertainly we have violent offenses, I’m not going to say we don’t,â Hohl said. âObviously we have a significant number of domestic violence cases on our workload, but the majority of our clients, the overwhelming majority of our clients, are non-violent offenses. “
According to a report by the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform analyzing Indy’s problem of violence, 12% of victims and 15% of suspects were under active surveillance in the community at the time of the homicide. Hohl said that number includes those on parole from the Department of Corrections, federal probation, community corrections and probation. 44% of those involved in a homicide between March 1, 2018 and February 29, 2020 were either under active surveillance in the community or under surveillance at some point by the MCCC or the county probation service.
The cost of GPS monitoring
Marion County contracts with Track Group for its monitoring devices. Those on bail pay a fee of $ 5 per day. Kerl said 1% of those clients on GPS monitoring for interim release are found to be indigent by the court.
If someone can’t afford the $ 5 fee, it comes from the budget of the Marion Superior Court Probation Department. The only people who pay fees during the pre-trial period are those who have to wear a GPS device, which represents approximately 1,500 people.
Kerl said that before each person is heard, his team writes a compliance summary that shows whether the defendant has met all requirements and made payments.
“The hope is that this will be brought to court and for everyone’s attention, the court has an opportunity to consider afterwards whether this device is still needed,” Kerl explained.
Hohl said those carrying out post-conviction supervision can pay anywhere from $ 0 to $ 14, depending on whether the courts have found someone indigent or financial analysis by community corrections shows they cannot. afford the $ 14. Hohl said that on average people pay around $ 7 a day.
Track Group charges Marion County Community Corrections for $ 3.15 per GPS monitor and $ 5 per monitor and piece of alcohol.
âIf what we collect is less than our monthly bill for the number of devices we use, then that is offset by taxpayer money,â Hohl explained.
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