Modified "Three Strikes" Bill Passes Senate

By: AP
By: AP

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

The 33-6 vote sent the measure to the House.

It 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.

As introduced, the bill would have mandated prison time for all third-time felons. But many legislators worried that doing so would force the state to greatly expand its prison system.

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

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