Monday, July 28, 2014

Report: Reducing U.S. prison population reduces crime

Here's yet another conservative myth busted [emphasis mine]:

The [Sentencing Project's] report points to New York, New Jersey and California as examples of how moving toward more lenient punishments for non-violent offenders is linked to lower rates of both violent crime and property crime. While the nation's state prison population shot up by 10 percent from 1999 to 2012 with violent and property crime dropping by 26 percent and 24 percent, respectively, New York and New Jersey each slashed their prison populations by 26 percent and saw crime drop a respective 31 percent and 30 percent during the same period.

"At least in three states we now know that the prison population can be reduced by about 25% with little or no adverse effect on public safety," The Sentencing Project's Marc Mauer and Nazgol Ghandnoosh wrote in their report. "Individual circumstances vary by state, but policymakers should explore the reforms in New York, New Jersey, and California as a guide for other states."

By Lydia O'Connor
July 24, 2014 | Huffington Post

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