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Idaho Committee Aims to Reduce Prison Population

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho’s prisons are full and getting fuller, and about half of those behind bars are repeat offenders. Now a group of lawmakers is hoping to arrest the trend using research to develop smart policy changes.

Sen. Jim Rice, a Republican from Caldwell and a member of the newly formed Interim Justice Reinvestment Committee, says nothing is off the table — not even changes that have been rejected in the past, like giving inmates “good time” credit. The program funded through grants and the Council of State Governments will help with research and analysis.

Chloe Cockburn with the American Civil Liberties Union says other states’ efforts have met with mixed success, but the goal should be reducing the prison population as a whole rather than just preventing future growth.

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