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Study on Truth-in-Sentencing

Some years back, "truth in sentencing" laws were passed in many jurisdictions to ensure that criminals or a defined subset of criminals actually served all or most of the prison time they were sentenced to.  These laws were and remain controversial.  A new report from Arizona supports the crime-reducing impact of that state's TIS law and of such laws in general.  The full report is over 500 pages and will take some time to digest. The Maricopa County* Attorney has this press release.  Bearing in mind that press releases about studies must always be taken with a grain of salt, here is the first paragraph:

Arizona has prevented more than a million crimes since 1994 by incarcerating its most dangerous criminals, according to a major research study released today. Titled Prisoners in Arizona: Truth-in-Sentencing, Time Served and Recidivism, the study concludes that Arizona's Truth-in-Sentencing (TIS) laws, which ensure that convicted criminals serve at least 85% of their sentence, led to a 17.7% drop in reported crime over a fifteen year period after TIS laws were enacted in 1994.

*Phoenix and vicinity, with over half the population of the state.

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