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Christopher B. Shank

Bipartisan panel in Annapolis recommends much shorter drug sentences, more drug treatment

Bipartisan panel in Annapolis recommends much shorter drug sentences, more drug treatment

An influential General Assembly panel is recommending significant changes in sentencing laws for drug use — part of a plan to imprison thousands fewer people and use the savings to help others stay out of jail.

The bipartisan Justice Reinvestment Coordinating Council says the state can reduce the number of imprisoned Marylanders by 4,000 over the next decade, a decrease of nearly 20 percent.

It recommends using the roughly $250 million that would be saved to invest in drug treatment programs and other services to help ex-prisoners successfully return to society.

"Conservatives and liberals have come together to make the statement that the long-fought 'War on...

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