Editorial: Shrinking Prisons, Saving Billions

Publication: The New York Times


03/25/2013 - An editorial in the Sunday, March 24 edition of the New York Times cited Pew's research about the shrinking prison population.

"The mandatory sentencing craze that gripped the country four decades ago drove up the state prison population sevenfold — from under 200,000 in the early 1970s to about 1.4 million today — and pushed costs beyond $50 billion a year. Until recently, it seemed that the numbers would keep growing. But thanks to reforms in more than half the states, the prison census has edged down slightly — by just under 2 percent — since 2009. A new analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that the decline would have been considerably larger had the other states not been pulling in the opposite direction."

Read the full editorial at the New York Times.

Read the report and infographic, U.S. Prison Count Continues to Drop, on Pew's state and consumer initiatives website.

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