By TCR Staff
Bipartisan collaboration and consistent funding of evidence-based reforms helped slash prison populations in five states with dramatically different demographics and political leanings, according to a study by The Sentencing Project.
The results, charted over roughly a decade in Connecticut, Michigan, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and South Carolina, should be a signal to the rest of the country that “substantial reductions” are possible without endangering public safety, the study authors said.
“We now have evidence that substantial reductions in prison populations are possible in red and blue states,” said Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project, and one of the authors of the report.
The analysis found reductions ranging from 14 percent in South Carolina to 25 percent in Connecticut over a period starting about 2007 and ending in 2016.
The reductions “produced a cumulative total of 23,646 fewer people in prison with no adverse effects on public safety,” the report said.