California lawmakers may trim repeat offenders’ sentences

California lawmakers are on the verge of approving legislation to trim prison sentences for repeat nonviolent felonies.

Current law adds an additional year to offenders’ sentences for each previous prison or jail term.

The bill approved by the state Assembly on Thursday would remove the mandatory one-year enhancement. The bill returns to the Senate on Friday for a final vote on Assembly amendments that excluded certain sex crimes from the measure, as lawmakers wrap up their work for the year.

Supporters said the longer sentences clog prisons and jails, are costly to taxpayers, and do little to deter criminals. Corrections officials say about 10,000 inmates currently have the one-year bumps in their sentences, while legislative analysts estimate that the change could save tens of millions of dollars a year in lower prison and jail costs. …

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