Hogan signs criminal justice reforms into law

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland is changing its approach to dealing with many criminals.

Gov. Larry Hogan signed the Justice Reinvestment Act into law Thursday. The law is the result of bipartisan efforts to reform the state’s criminal justice system.

Hogan called it “the largest and most comprehensive criminal justice reform to pass in Maryland in a generation.”

Hogan’s office said the new law will mean more money for drug treatment and will send fewer nonviolent offenders to prison. The law will also give prosecutors more power to target high-level drug traffickers, using a provision modeled after a tool available to federal prosecutors.

The Baltimore Sun reports that, by reducing Maryland’s prison population by about 1,100 people over the next 10 years, leaders expect to save an estimated $80 million that can be redirected toward programs intended to prevent crime.

The law also makes policy changes for parole, victim restitution and record expungement, The Associated Press reported.

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