As states try to combat deficits and balance their budgets, the penal system is increasingly heading to the chopping block. Though costs vary, it runs tens of thousands of dollars to keep a prisoner incarcerated for a year. Because of this, many states are looking for ways to reduce sentences in this recession. Whether lowering mandatory minimum sentences for crimes or replacing imprisonment with community service, many convicts will be seeing less time in jail while states try to cope with growing deficits.
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