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Study Finds Philadelphia Prison Population On Decline

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A new study says Philadelphia’s jail population decreased dramatically last year, mainly because of new procedures designed to make the criminal justice system more efficient.

The report released Wednesday by The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Philadelphia Research Initiative found the annual average daily inmate population fell 11 percent from 2009 to 2010.

It notes authorities are dealing with less serious cases through fines or community service instead of the courts. Those include misdemeanors and possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The study also found fewer jail admissions on bench warrants, which it attributed in part to a computer glitch. New warrants did not appear in police checks for months.

The report says the city’s current $231 million corrections budget is $10 million lower than it was three years ago.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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