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Right on Crime | March 9, 2011
Echoing the efforts of several other states with tight budgets looking to save money, Nevada Assemblyman Tick Segerblom has proposed a bill that would allow judges to put certain offenders into drug treatment programs rather than prison. According to the Las Vegas Sun, a primary goal of the legislation “is to save money because there are a lot of people incarcerated who don’t need to be in prison.”
In Nevada, it costs about $20,000 a year to house an inmate, and according to Segerblom, “to have some of these nonviolent offenders sit in prison for one year, five years, 10 years at $20,000 a year doesn’t make any sense.” At the very least, the bill would give prosecutors alternative options, as opposed to simply increasing Nevada’s already high incarceration rate.
Nevada legislators are also looking at ways to reduce sentencing for non-violent offenders in an effort to keep the cost of unnecessary incarceration down and to avoid clogging the criminal justice system.