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Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Thousands of misdemeanor offenders will serve their time in local jails instead of a state prison under a change in state law taking effect next week.

The change, beginning in the new year, will see about 4,500 people a year convicted of misdemeanor crimes serving sentences of between three and six months in county jails.

Criminals from every county who fall into the sentencing range will be affected by the change, but not every county jail will participate in taking the inmates for $40 a day. Offenders sentenced to 90 days or less behind bars will continue to serve their sentence in county jails at county expense.

The longer sentences are typical for certain types of assault and some property crimes with a prior criminal record.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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