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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Lawmakers wrestle with prison increases, question policies

Idaho is one of just three states that provides its prison inmates virtually no way to earn time off for good behavior behind bars, and its “compassionate release” program for terminally ill inmates is among the nation’s most restrictive. Those were among the research findings presented to a legislative panel Monday that’s looking for answers to the state’s soaring prison population.

Panel says Idaho wastes millions jailing nonviolent offenders

BOISE – Nonviolent criminals are being kept behind bars in Idaho twice as long as they are in the rest of the nation. That’s among the major findings of a nine-month study into how Idaho could spend its money better and get better outcomes from its criminal justice system. Researchers for the Council of State Governments and the Pew Charitable Trusts found that the state has one of the nation’s highest and fastest-growing incarceration rates, despite its low rates of crime.

Idaho reoffender rate high, study shows

BOISE – After seven months of intensive study of Idaho’s criminal justice system, researchers have found some surprising trends underlying Idaho’s high incarceration rate despite its low crime rate: More than 40 percent of Idaho’s prison beds are being taken up by offenders who initially were released on probation or parole. Fully 84 percent of Idaho’s felony offenders are initially sentenced to probation or a short-term prison program followed by release on probation, the study by researchers from the Justice Center and the Pew Charitable Trusts found. But within three years, nearly a third of those end up in prison serving full terms.