Officers and prosecutors are scrambling to train in the new changes to the Indiana State criminal code. It is the first major revision to the code since 1979 and has left little time for those who have to prosecute and enforce it to learn it.
The new code expands the former class system for felonies into 6 levels and will affect any crimes occurring on the first of June or after.
The changes come as a way to seek to reduce the numbers of addiction based and non-violent offenders in prison as well as to increase the penalty for the most heinous crimes. It is believed the new code will help to get drug offenders who are more addict than dealer into community corrections methods rather than prison.
Crimes such as the dealing of drugs and property theft are affected by the monetary value of the material in question with drug-related offenses further penalized based on factors, such as total weight of the substance, use of weapons, involvement with a gang, previous convictions, dealing to or in the presence of children, or being 500 feet or closer to a school.
Members of task forces dealing with the drug trade worry that the weight issue will mean they will have to make larger buys, costing more money that will be tied up until resolution of the cases.