- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Legislature has approved a bill that is expected to reduce prison sentences for inmates serving time for certain drug offenses.

The House and Senate both voted Wednesday in support of the legislation. It now heads to Gov. Terry Branstad for his approval.

The bill would cut mandatory minimum prison sentences for certain non-violent drug offenders. It would also give judges more discretion in sentencing for crimes like robbery. It would add a mandatory minimum sentence for intentional child endangerment that results in a child’s death.

Criminal justice reform advocates say the legislation will reduce mandatory prison terms for low risk offenders. The non-partisan Legislative Services Agency says the bill is expected to reduce the disproportionately high percentage of minorities in Iowa’s criminal justice system.

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