Editorial: New criminal code needs fair chance

Certainly, the Indiana Legislature should be aware of the recently released report that warns that the state’s new sentencing guidelines will increase rather than decrease the state’s prison population.

At the same time, lawmakers should not take the conclusions of the report by an Atlanta consulting firm as absolute gospel and keep in mind the overall intent of the law is to make criminal sentencing more appropriate and fair, rather than sending a huge number of people down a road that too often leads to a life of crime.

State Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington, who worked several years on helping to draft the state’s new criminal code and sentencing guidelines, pointed out that the law doesn’t actually go into effect until July. And lawmakers went into the process with the understanding it would need fine tuning, he says.

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