Smaller Colorado prison population predicted |

Smaller Colorado prison population predicted

DENVER (AP) – State researchers say Colorado’s prison population is growing more slowly than expected.

Researchers estimated in 2006 that prisons would be holding nearly 30,000 inmates by 2013, but a new study estimates there will be about 8,000 fewer inmates by then.

The lower population could save the state at least $160 million in 2013. Governor Bill Ritter says the state is already reaping the benefits of slower prison population growth. Ritter’s deficit-cutting proposals in February included $19.4 million savings on corrections costs.

Researchers attribute the decrease to Colorado’s aging population and better programs to prevent recidivism and drug addiction.

Researchers also say crime has not grown with the economic crisis, as it did in previous recessions.

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