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Idaho: crime rates low, incarceration rate high

The incarceration rate in Idaho is higher than the national average
Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 7:24 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — According to the non-profit Prison Policy Initiative, the incarceration rate in Idaho is higher than the national average. There are two broad categories of people who are in prison in the U.S: those who have been convicted of a crime and sentenced or those who are awaiting their trial.

The pre-trial incarcerated population, in particular, has risen over the past 40 years. Based on their data, Prison Policy Initiative believes pre-trial policies have led to larger incarcerated populations in local jails.

“Your local jail is probably holding more people than it did in 1980, by far,” said Prison Policy Initiative’s Wanda Bertram. “This is not because more people are in jail serving sentences, but because more people are in jail before their trials.”

Bertram stressed the importance of reducing pre-trial prison populations in light of the numerous COVID-19 outbreaks seen in prisons nationwide.

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