FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky lawmakers have advanced a bill aimed at combating gang recruitment by toughening sentences for people who lure youngsters into the criminal groups.
The bill would make it a felony for adults to recruit youngsters into gangs and would require them to serve most of their sentences. Currently, the offense is a misdemeanor.
The measure was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
The bill also would enhance penalties for some gang-related crimes and would require that offenders serve most of their sentences.
Rep. Robert Benvenuti says his bill will protect vulnerable youngsters and reduce the suffering caused by gangs.
Critics included a group of black ministers and community activists. They say the bill casts such a wide net that it will catch people who aren't gang members but live in areas where gangs exist.
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