Community Corrections began to emerge as a statewide priority in Indiana in the late 1970's when the Indiana Lawyers Commission, key legislators, and representatives of the academic community began a collaboration which was to result in Indiana's Community Corrections Grant Act. Active in this collaborative effort were Cleon Faust, formerly of Indiana University Law School, Dr. Val Clear of Anderson University, Mark Umbright representing Prisoners and Community Together ( PACT), a not-for-profit agency, and former Senator Les Duvall. These concerns resulted in the passage for the Community Corrections Act by the Indiana General Assembly in 1979, under I.C. 11-21-1.
To ensure that community corrections programs would be community-based, the legislation mandated that Advisory Boards be formed which would have representation from government and lay persons in the community. In 1981, three pioneering programs were funded at a total amount of $250,000.00.
During the early years of Community Corrections, the funded counties expressed an interest in creating a state association. On June 23, 1984, those interested in forming an association met and established a Planning Committee to discuss the final steps in organizing the Indiana Association of Community Correction Act Counties (IACCAC). The first meeting of the Board of Directors was held on August 15, 1984 with Randall Woodruff, Executive Director of Madison County Community Corrections serving as Chairperson. During this meeting the by-laws were adopted. The Association consisted of eleven counties receiving funding.
By 1989, thirty-five counties were receiving Indiana Department of Correction funding. During this period the grant programs were faced with a unique challenge. Many local jurisdictions were still using their adult jails to detain juveniles in violation of the Federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974. This challenge resulted in legislative enactment of a law requiring counties to reduce and then eliminate this practice as a condition for receiving Community Corrections Grant Act funds. Funding for the jail removal programs was held jointly between the Indiana Criminal Justice Agency and the Indiana Department of Correction. With the creation of this partnership, funds were made available for community correction grants to counties desirous of serving juvenile populations. The removal of juveniles housed in adult jails was successful as a result for this partnership.
Throughout the years, Indiana Association of Community Corrections Act Counties goal has been devoted to implementing legislation which strengthens Community Corrections. Through the efforts of Community Corrections Directors the Advisory Board statute IC 11-12-2 was amended to include a victim representative. Other legislation written includes the addition of the Direct Commitment provision which enables the offender to serve under an executed sentence through a Community Corrections agency. These are only a few examples of the impact that IACCAC has had in Indiana.
As of June, 2014, 84 out of 92 counties receive funding through IC 11-12-1. Indiana Association of Community Corrections Act Counties and its members are always aware of and strive to maintain its mission to promote and facilitate the professional identity, development and enhancement of community based corrections. We will continue to devote our enthusiasm, talent and energy to improving Indiana and its criminal justice system.