A sweeping plan to overhaul Indiana's criminal sentencing laws cleared its first hurdle in the Legislature on Wednesday with the support of law-enforcement groups that had scuttled similar efforts the past two years. The Indiana House Courts and Criminal Committee voted 13-0 to approve the bill and send it to the full House for consideration. Supporters of the plan say it aims to direct more people convicted of low-level felonies to work release and other local programs rather than sending them to prison. It would also require those convicted of the most-serious crimes to spend more time in prison.
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