Lawmakers approve 'Second Chance' drug law
Lawmakers approved a bill to overhaul the way the state punishes drug-related crimes.
The Second Chance bill aims to give first- and second-time offenders a second chance by reducing penalties for drug possession. It also changes the pardons and parole system.
The law will emphasize drug treatment over prison for low-level offenders.
"We're going to be putting people in diversionary programs for nonviolent offenses, which means they'll have a greater chance of success," says Sen. Bob Duff.
Though the punishment for drug sales won't change, Duff says that the law will make it easier for people to get jobs after being charged with drug possession.
Sen. Duff says that the bill also means parts of several prisons in the state will close, saving taxpayers $20 million a year.