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California May Trim Repeat Offenders' Prison Sentences

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — 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.

Supporters say the longer sentences clog prisons and jails, are costly to taxpayers, and do little to deter criminals.

Opponents including several Democrats say the longer sentences are needed for repeat offenders.

Corrections officials say about 10,000 inmates currently have the one-year bumps in their sentences. Legislative analysts say the change could save tens of millions of dollars a year in lower prison and jail costs.

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