Minnesota Senate lawmakers are moving forward with plans to reduce prison sentences for some non-violent drug offenses in Minnesota, while increasing penalties for so-called drug kingpins. Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom is among a group of prosecutors, law enforcement officials and defense lawyers that supports the change. Backstrom says, “The people that are involved in the real high level of sales,… the people that are the big dealers, we are strengthening the law… in terms of longer prison sanctions that will be imposed.” Lawmakers are trying to reduce the worsening crunch for prison beds in Minnesota. They say many people in prison need treatment rather than incarceration.
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