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Are Maryland prisons seeing fewer inmates in intake?

The Pew Charitable Trusts recently completed an analysis for the Justice Reinvestment Coordinating Council. The analysis was on the number of inmates in Maryland prisons who have been sentenced to at least a year.

According to those results, during the last 10 years, the number of people admitted to Maryland prisons has fallen 19 percent. A big part of the reason for this is because of 43 percent drop in the number of people ending up in Baltimore jail. Overall, the population of Maryland's prisons fell about 5 percent.

The reason for the analysis is simple: The Justice Reinvestment Coordinating Council is trying to determine the best ways to lower spending on corrections. While the numbers may be lower, the lengths of the sentences are not.

The analysis showed that prisoners who were recently sentences are going to be staying in prison for 25 percent longer than prisoners did 10 years ago. Here are some other interesting statistics from the analysis:

-- Possession of drugs with intent to distribute is the number one crime for which people are sent to prison. Second-degree assault comes in at number two.

-- In the last decade, the number of inmates over the age of 55 has doubled.

-- In the last 10 years, inmates with convictions for burglary have increased 14 percent.

-- Seventy percent of prisoners in Maryland prisons are black. White inmates make up 28 percent of the prison population.

While there may be fewer inmates going into prison, it appears that there are still some areas -- such as the length of prison time given at sentencing -- that need to be a top priority.

Those who have been charged with a crime that has a possibility of prison time can learn more about the possible consequences from a criminal defense attorney.

Source: wtop.com, "Report: Maryland prison admissions down 19 percent in decade," Brian Witte, July 29, 2015

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