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January 18, 2011

"Indiana's Answer to Prison Costs"

The title of this post is the headline of this New York Times editorial, which gets started this way:

For states that are serious about trimming deficits, out-of-control prison costs are a good place to start cutting.  The expenses of housing and caring for more than one million state prison inmates has quadrupled in the last decade from about $12 billion a year to more $52 billion a year.  This, in turn, has squeezed budgets for essential programs like education.

Governors seeking wisdom on how to proceed could start by looking at what Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, is trying to accomplish in Indiana.

The centerpiece of Mr. Daniels’s approach is a set of reforms governing sentencing and parole.  Judges would be allowed to fit sentences to crimes and have the flexibility to impose shorter sentences for nonviolent offenses.  A poorly structured parole system would be reorganized to focus on offenders who actually present a risk to public safety.

Addicts would be given drug treatment to try to make them less likely to be rearrested. And there would be incentives for towns to handle low-level offenders instead of sending them into more costly state prisons.

January 18, 2011 at 08:47 AM | Permalink

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Thank you very much for keeping me up to date.

Posted by: Health Blog | Jan 26, 2011 8:11:28 AM

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