INDIANA (21Alive) -- A criminal sentencing overhaul bill just needs the Governor's signature to become law.
The bill is designed to revamp the system, handing out harsher penalties for the worst offenders while placing non-violent criminals in more appropriate correction facilities.
The Indiana House and Senate approved House Bill 1006. The bill calls for habitual criminals with at least two prior felonies (one serious) to receive an extra 6-20 years tacked onto their sentence. It also requires minimum sentences for the top four of six levels of felonies.
The revised code could save the state money by reducing the prison population at the state level but many county sheriffs believe they will be forced to house more inmates costing counties more.
According to ABC57, several political leaders were at the state house to fight for longer prison sentences for violent criminals. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard testified earlier this year endorsing the bill when it called for inmates to serve 75% of their sentences instead of 50%. It is unclear whether that portion of the bill remains in the approved version that will be crossing the Governor's desk.
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