Iowa Legislators are wrestling with ways to deal with a tight state budget, and shortening the sentences of some criminals has resurfaced as one way to save money. The cost of running the state’s correction system has soared in the past decade as Iowa built three new prisons to house more convicts. Representative Teresa Garman, a republican from Ames, has been involved in sentencing reform discussions for the past few years. She says it’s something that needs to be looked at, but she doesn’t want to put dangerous people back on the streets.For example, Garman would consider shortening the sentences for some drug crimes, but not very many.Garman says sentences should not be eased for drug pushers.Republican legislators have been fighting amongst themselves for the past few years, as some seek more lenient sentences for those who commit non-violent property crimes, while others refuse to consider any weaker sentences.
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