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Author Archives: Rebekah Zemansky, Cronkite News Service

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A push from the right: More conservatives joining fight to change sentencing guidelines

Since the late 1970s, rising crime has led lawmakers to require prison time for many non-violent offenses.

But some say eliminating the options of fines, work release, substance-abuse treatment and house arrest in favor of prison time can turn non-violent offenders into career criminals.

Now, as states face large budget deficits, calls for reforming sentencing for non-violent offenders also are coming increasingly from conservatives who call prison costs unsustainable.

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Trapped in violence: Undocumented domestic abuse victims face hurdles

Domestic violence affects women of every country, culture and income level, and victims are often reluctant to seek help for a variety of reasons.

When a woman is in the U.S. illegally, however, she will be even more reluctant to come forward, law enforcement officials and victims’ advocates say. Undocumented immigrants as a group fear dealing with police, and some abusers use that fear as a lever, threatening to turn in their victims and separate them from children through deportation.

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