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Senate panel backs changes to early release law for sex offenders

Updated: January 22, 2013 11:15PM



INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — People sent to prison for sex offenses couldn’t receive credit toward an early release by earning college degrees under a proposal supported by an Indiana Senate committee.

The Senate’s corrections committee voted 8-1 to advance the bill on Tuesday.

Bill sponsor Sen. Jim Merritt of Indianapolis cited the case of a former high school swim coach who was released after serving less than two years of an eight-year sentence for having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl he coached. Merritt says that coach and other convicted sex offenders have “gamed the system” to gain early release.

Merritt says he doesn’t want to stop inmates from being able to earn college degrees, but that sex offenders shouldn’t use them for early release.



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