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Author Archives: Rebekah Zemansky, Cronkite News Service

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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Some communities moving to ban fireworks as state law looms

Payson is one of the first cities in the state to enact a local ordinance banning the use of fireworks that will become legal statewide on Dec. 1. Show Low and Queen Creek have also passed bans, and Flagstaff is considering regulation. Yuma is among cities taking a wait-and-see approach.

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