Senate Sends Stiffer Sentences Forward

By: AP
By: AP

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ The Senate has advanced a bill requiring prison time for some repeat offenders but diverting others to drug and alcohol treatment.

The bill is a response to complaints about the state's sentencing laws. Those laws allow judges to put some felons on probation, even with three or more previous convictions.

The bill would make prison the presumed sentence for a third burglary or drug possession charge. But it also would allow judges to sentence offenders to a substance abuse treatment program run by the state.

Senators gave it first-round approval Tuesday on a voice vote. A final vote, expected Wednesday, will determine whether it goes to the House.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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