Prison Population Sinks for First Time Since 1980

MANHATTAN (CN) – The federal prison population dropped by 4,800 in the past year – the first such annual decline since 1980, Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday.
     Holder attributed the drop to sentencing reform, and said the Bureau of Prisons expects the decline to continue for at least 2 years: by 2,200 inmates in fiscal year 2015 and by 10,000 in FY 2016 – the equivalent of six federal prisons.
     Holder announced the statistics in a speech at the Brennan Center for Justice, at New York University Law School.
     Holder said incarceration rates in state prisons also have declined, roughly by 10 percent since President Obama took office, while crime rates have declined a similar amount.
     The attorney general said a January report on 17 states showed that the decline in state prison populations would save those states $4.6 billion over 10 years.

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