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Maryland House passes inmate education credit bill

ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland House of Delegates is supporting a measure that would allow inmates to earn credits to reduce their sentences by receiving academic degrees or certificates.

The House voted 81-54 on Thursday to OK the bill despite arguments from opponents who said it would give undeserving criminals the opportunity to get out of jail early.

People who are incarcerated can already earn the credits for good behavior, work tasks and special projects, but must complete at least 50 percent of their sentence before they can become eligible for early release.

The bill was amended Tuesday to prohibit inmates convicted of murder from benefiting from the program.

The measure now moves to the state Senate for consideration.