(Harrisburg) -- The state Department of Corrections says last year posted the largest drop in the number of inmates in the commonwealth in about four decades.
Secretary John Wetzel says 51,184 inmates were incarcerated at the end of last year, a decrease of 454 inmates from 2011.
He says it's the biggest dip in incarcerations since 1971 and the third time in the past 40 years the number of PA inmates has shown an annual decline.
Wetzel cites fewer court commitments and statewide policy changes introduced by Governor Corbett as contributing to the decrease.
He adds parole releases also increased by more than one-thousand inmates.
Wetzel says the department plans to release a new recidivism report within the next few months, which would transform the way the state reports cases of repeat offenses and crime reduction.
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