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Legislature approves Ind. sentencing laws overhaul

Updated: April 26, 2013 11:29PM



INDIANAPOLIS — An overhaul of Indiana’s criminal sentencing laws aimed at sending fewer nonviolent offenders to prison has been approved by the Legislature.

The Senate voted 34-15 on Friday in favor of the bill that the House approved Thursday.

Provisions of the bill would require most felons to serve at least 75 percent of their sentences. Current law allows most inmates with good behavior in prison to be released after serving half their sentence time.

The overhaul includes many penalty changes for many property and drug offenses, directing many convicted of those crimes to work release and other local programs. The changes won’t take effect until July 2014 and supporters say they expect the Legislature will make adjustments next year.

The bill now goes to Gov. Mike Pence for consideration.



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