- Associated Press - Friday, April 7, 2017

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Senate has approved changes to sweeping criminal justice legislation passed last year, following public outcry about crime.

In a statement, Sen. John Coghill says the changes provide a balance between rehabilitation and a need to confine offenders for public safety.

Coghill is the bill’s sponsor and says the changes are responsive to concerns from law enforcement and the public.

The measure, which passed Friday, next goes to the House.

The bill, among other things, strengthens sentences or the sentencing ranges for a number of crimes, including petty theft.

Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth has said the law passed last year has been blamed for more than it’s responsible for. She has pointed to other complicating factors, including a drug epidemic and budget cuts that have affected agencies like hers.

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