Ala. Law Could Reduce Prison Overcrowding

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ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) -- State lawmakers are hoping a bill passed last month will alleviate overcrowding in a state that has the highest prison population growth in the country.

The Anniston Star reports that Senate Bill 386 gives the Alabama Sentencing Commission power to shorten prison sentences for various crimes starting in October 2013 unless the Legislature specifically rejects the change.

Bill sponsor Sen. Cam Ward, a Republican from Alabaster, said over time the prison population will decline.

Alabama's prisons hold 27,000 inmates but they were built for half that.

The commission hopes to reduce sentences for non-violent offenders who are behind bars for drug or property crimes.

------ Information from: The Anniston Star,

AP-WF-06-05-12 1133GMT

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