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Cost concerns linger for Ind. sentencing overhaul

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 11:22 am

INDIANAPOLIS — A plan to overhaul Indiana's criminal sentencing laws is moving through the Legislature with broad bipartisan support, although some county officials are worried it will shift costs to the local level.

Supporters expect the changes will delay the need to build new state prison space by instead sentencing potentially thousands of nonviolent offenders to probation and work-release programs.

The proposal would also toughen sentencing for the most serious crimes by requiring those inmates to serve at least 75 percent of their sentences. Current law allows them to be released after serving half their sentences if they stay out of trouble while behind bars.

The Indiana House is scheduled to vote Monday on whether to approve the bill and send it to the Senate for consideration.