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Arizona’s Prison Population Still Rising

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Arizona’s Prison Population Still Rising

The Arizona prison system continued to grow throughout most of 2015, reaching nearly 43,000 inmates by October, with no indication of a slow-down or reversal in sight. The persistent increase comes at a time when crime is down and numerous other states are considering cutting inmate populations and/or finding alternatives to incarceration. But Arizona officials remain reluctant to abandon the state’s relatively frequent use of imprisonment, maintaining an incarceration rate that has long been among the top 10 of states. However, there are increasing doubts being expressed about the wisdom of locking up so many offenders, not least because of the system’s $1 billion annual price tag. This suggests that there may be some changes in store for Arizona corrections.