Illinois Could Drastically Reduce Its Prison Population Without Seeing Crime Increase, New Report Says

A new study says Illinois could reduce its prison by population by 25% over the next five years without contributing to an increase in crime.

Ending mass incarceration has been the stated goal of several Illinois lawmakers and advocates. Such efforts are frequently met with concerns that fewer people behind bars will mean more crime on the streets. This new report says those concerns are unfounded.

The paper, published Friday, points to states like New York, California and Maryland, which have significantly reduced their prison populations while also seeing a drop in crime. It also notes that Illinois itself has cut down on its prison population and still seen crime go down.