Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey and New York reduced their prison populations between 5 and 20 percent since 1999 without any increases in crime.

Author:Gormsen, Lia
Position:Inter Alia
 
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Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey and New York reduced their prison populations between 5 and 20 percent since 1999 without any increases in crime, the Sentencing Project and Justice Strategies reported in Downscaling Prisons: Lessons From Four States. The reductions came at a time when the national prison population increased by 12 percent; and in six states the prison population rose by more than 40 percent. The reductions were accomplished through legislative reforms and changes in practice by corrections and parole agencies.

Kansas changed sentencing guidelines to divert lower-level drug cases to treatment, and expanded support services for people on parole supervision. Michigan eliminated most mandatory minimum...

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