New guidelines keep meth offenders out of state prisons - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

New guidelines keep meth offenders out of state prisons

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Prosecutors said new guidelines issued by the state will make it more difficult to put meth violators in state prison. (Source: MGN Online) Prosecutors said new guidelines issued by the state will make it more difficult to put meth violators in state prison. (Source: MGN Online)
MARSHALL COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

New guidelines from the state will make it more difficult to put those facing new methamphetamine charges in state prisons.

In the past, judges in meth cases have been able to deviate from the sentencing guidelines, especially if they felt prison time was appropriate. Now, that is no longer possible. Prosecutors said new guidelines issued by the state will make it more difficult to put methamphetamine violators in state prison.

A Marshall County assistant district attorney said he currently has one case where a defendant has managed to rack up two counts of manufacturing, one count of distributing meth, as well as a possession case.

It is a case Chris Able feels some jail time should be served, but because the offender currently has no prior offenses, the mathematical formula used for sentencing guidelines shows he is not eligible. The assistant DA said the judge does have some discretion.

"It is, I think, meant to try to reduce the prison population but in essence, it's going to cause more of a backlog in the county jails and work-release facilities," said Able.

Able feels the change could lead to lighter sentences as county jails begin to fill up.

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