Tags: Voting Rights | rates | incarceration | washington | state

Rates of Incarceration in Washington State

By    |   Wednesday, 16 Dec 2015 06:03 PM

The state of Washington is working on reducing the cost of prisons by reducing the total prison population in the state. Since the mid-'90s, the incarceration rate of the state has made large increases and the cost to the taxpayers has been rising steadily as a result.

According to a report by Pew Charitable Trusts, the incarceration rate in the state of Washington has risen by 24 percent since 1994.

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When it comes to the state’s incarceration rate compared to the number of residents of the state, the National Institute of Corrections reported Washington had 256 people in prison for every 100,000 residents of the state in the 2013 calendar year. That was very low on the scale, with the national average sitting at 395 inmates per 100,000 residents. Washington averaged among the 10 lowest states when it came to the incarceration rate.

Despite the incarceration rate being so low for the state, the crime rate is much higher. The state of Washington ranks 31 percent higher than the national average for crime rate, with 3,999 crimes per 100,000 people in the state in 2013. However, one important distinction when looking at the state’s crime rate is that only 289 crimes per 100,000 residents is a violent crime. That is 17 percent lower than the national rate.

Washington legislators alongside Gov. Jay Inslee are working hard to reduce their incarceration rates even more. With 93 percent of the crime in Washington being property crime, which is 38 percent higher than the national rate, there is a chance to work on rehabilitation programs to try to lower their incarceration rate.

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The cost of prisons in Washington costs taxpayers $48,897 per inmate, which was ninth highest in the nation in 2013. Cutting the prison population could really help lower those costs and lower the incarceration rate even more.

In 2015, Inslee started an initiative to cut the high property crime rate, which would in turn lower the incarceration rate if successful. The idea is to reduce the prison population for these crimes by putting offenders into supervision programs where they hold offenders accountable without clogging up the prison system even more. According to Chief Justice Barbara Madsen, this change will allow them to reduce the incarceration rate and help the recidivism rates in the state.

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The state of Washington is working on reducing the cost of prisons by reducing the total prison population in the state. Since the mid-'90s, the incarceration rate of the state has made large increases and the cost to the taxpayers has been rising steadily as a result.
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2015-03-16
Wednesday, 16 Dec 2015 06:03 PM
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