Connecticut’s criminal justice administration predicted a prison population of 17,213 in the first week of July of 2012.

Instead, the population stands at 16,586—3.6 percent below the forecast. And this follows a four percent drop last year.

A number of reforms have played a role in this drop. Risk-reduction credits were implemented late last year, which permits offenders to shave time off their sentences by participating in rehabilitative programs to cut their reoffending risk. Another initiative permitted DUI offenders to serve a portion of their sentences at home due to the very low risk posed to the public safety. This also permits such offenders to keep their jobs, further reducing the burden on taxpayers. Other programs look to target proven criminal justice programs and alternatives to incarceration to those low-risk offenders who would most benefit from them.

Lower prison populations mean fewer unnecessary expenditures of taxpayer dollars, and given Connecticut’s adherence to evidence based alternatives, could give way to a safer Connecticut for all.