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Criminal Justice Reforms Lowering ND Prison Population

By September 4, 2018 No Comments

The Bismarck Tribune recently reported that “[i]n the 2018 fiscal year, the North Dakota prison population decreased 6.5 percent.” Leann Bertsch, director of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, attributes the decrease to several causes, including “awareness of criminal justice reform and not overusing incarceration […] as well as sentencing practices such as ‘good time’ for pretrial defendants in county jails.” Bertsch also says that solitary confinement has decreased in the past year, “down to about 20 inmates today from DOCR’s all-time high of just under 100.” The state-run program Free Through Recovery, available to many people serving probation or parole, seems to be another factor in the prison population trend.