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Valparaiso Hosts Conference On Nation’s Drug Law Reform

Speakers from nine law schools around the country will meet in Valparaiso to discuss what they see as flawed and harsh drug sentencing laws.

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Photo: Jashin Lin (WFIU/WTIU News)

Valparaiso Law School faculty members organized the conference with hopes of proposing reform to Indiana's laws.

Attorneys, legislators and law professors are in Valparaiso today to chart a course for reform of the nation‘s drug laws. A daylong conference focuses on what speakers from nine law schools around the country see as flawed and overly harsh drug sentencing laws.

Speakers will address racial disparities in sentencing, the social and financial costs of lengthy prison terms for drug offenses, and possible alternatives.

Valparaiso Law School Associate Dean Jeremy Telman says faculty members want to make the conference a jumping-off point to make a push for sentencing reform. They organized the conference in part to help decide whether to propose reforms to Indiana‘s laws, or work on model legislation for all 50 states.

Telman says prosecutors have already suggested one topic for discussion: whether any shortening of sentences should be paired with stepped-up requirements that drug offenders go into treatment.

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