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Indiana’s 107 Amendments

| December 4, 2010

According to this article in Business Week, the Indiana Code has been amended 107 times in the past twenty years “to either add new crimes or lengthen the prison sentences of existing crimes.”  For years, it seems that this was simply the norm in Indiana.  In 1997 alone the legislature considered 30 bills to create new crimes and 13 bills to lengthen sentences.  Eric Turner, a Republican representative from Marion, is mentioned in the Business Week article as saying that this was a result of “he and other lawmakers [having] reacted emotionally to crime.”

Indiana spends approximately one million dollars on every 100 inmates — and they have 29,000 adult inmates.  According to the Evansville Courier & Press, “[t]he estimate is that between 2010 and 2017, the prison population will increase 21 percent, from 28,474 to 34,794,” and absorbing this population will cost approximately $1.2 billion.  The costs are growing dramatically in Indiana, but if Rep. Turner is to be believed, it appears that the legislature is finally serious about keeping Indiana safe, but also finding a way to do it cost-effectively.


VIBRANT P. REDDY is Senior Fellow for criminal justice issues at the Charles Koch Institute. Previously, Reddy was the Senior Policy Analyst for both Right on Crime and the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Effective Justice. He has authored several reports on criminal justice policy and is a frequent speaker and media commentator on the topic. Reddy has worked as a research assistant at The Cato Institute, as a law clerk to the Honorable Gina M. Benavides of the Thirteenth Court of Appeals of Texas, and as an attorney in private practice, focusing on trial and appellate litigation. Reddy graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Plan II Honors, Economics, and History, and he earned his law degree at the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in Dallas. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and of the State Bar’s Appellate Section and Criminal Justice Section.