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Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 5:01am

Panel To Look At Revamp Of State's Sentencing Laws

Top state officials want to create a panel that would recommend changes to the state's tough sentencing laws.

Plans that would form a new commission will be announced at a news conference Wednesday afternoon with Governor Nathan Deal and others.

Georgia spends $1 billion a year on prisons. And Deal in his inaugural address said that the state cannot afford to continue to lock up nonviolent offenders and supports alternative sentencing for those with drug addictions.

A study for the Pew Center on the States found that one in 13 Georgians is in prison, on probation or on parole. That's the highest rate in the nation.

The new panel would make its recommendations in 2012.

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