Pennsylvania had the largest drop in inmate population in the state prison system in 2018, Gov. Tom Wolf announced on Friday.
The inmate population dropped from 48,438 to 47,370, a 2.2 percent decrease over 2017.
According to a release, the population has declined six of the past seven years.
“The 2018 calendar year reduction represents the single largest year-over-year decrease of inmate population on record,” Wolf said. “The historic decline demonstrates that common-sense criminal justice reforms work and bolsters the case for expanding reforms while ensuring the safety of all citizens.”
Officials said a major contributor to the decline was a significant decrease in prison admissions during 2018.
“It is difficult to ascertain why court commitments dropped during 2018, but it may be due to continued crime drops across Pennsylvania or to other efforts by the counties to divert appropriate cases from state sentences,” said Corrections Secretary John Wetzel “The drop in parole violator admissions is likely due to improved efforts, under the DOC/Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole consolidation, to divert technical parole violators from lengthy returns to state prison.”
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