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Anti-crime bills imposing longer sentences advance to House

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Indiana prosecutors and law enforcement officials are backing a package of anti-crime bills that would impose harsher sentences for violent offenders, but opponents question whether the measure will effectively deter criminal activity.

All five of the Republican-backed bills swept through the full Senate and will advance to the House for consideration.

Each bill would address specific issues, including limiting record expungement for repeat offenders, increasing police funding and creating harsher sentences for violent crimes.

Supporters believe enhanced sentences will send a message to Indiana communities and help deter crime. Critics say harsher sentencing isn’t an effective deterrent and argue that some of the measures might cast too wide a net and require unreasonable prison sentences for lower-level crimes.