Pennsylvania sees 4th year of falling state prison numbers

Written by The Associated Press | Jan 22, 2018 2:32 AM

FILE PHOTO: A solitary corrections officer looks out from a tower at one corner of the state prison in Camp Hill. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Harrisburg) -- The number of inmates in Pennsylvania's prison system is continuing to decline, with the population last year falling by about 860 prisoners to fewer than 48,500.

The Wolf administration says the 2017 drop represents the fourth straight year that the total inmate population has gone down.

They call last year's decrease the largest on record.

Pennsylvania ended last year with about 3,300 fewer inmates than five years earlier.

The administration says significant factors include dropping crime rates, diversions of technical parole violators and a state Supreme Court decision that threw out many of the state's mandatory minimum sentences.

Parole violator admissions fell by more than 10 percent last year.

The dropping prison population prompted the Wolf administration to close Pittsburgh State Prison last year.

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