News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

January 16, 2013

Indiana legislators consider sentencing laws overhaul

INDIANAPOLIS — Lawmakers are set to take up a sweeping plan to overhaul Indiana’s criminal sentencing laws after similar attempts stalled the past two years amid opposition from law-enforcement officials.

The proposal aims to direct more people convicted of low-level felonies to work release and other local programs rather than sending them to prison. It would also require those convicted of the most-serious crimes to spend more time in prison.

The House criminal code committee is scheduled to hold a hearing this afternoon on the bill.

Republican Sen. Brent Steele of Bedford says the proposal aims to reset punishments in proportion to the crime’s seriousness. For instance, current law sometimes gives tougher penalties to cocaine possession than rape.

Some critics worry the state will end up with too many longtime inmates.

 

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