Wis. DA: Plan lowers prison costs, improves safety - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wis. DA: Plan lowers prison costs, improves safety

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Milwaukee County prosecutor says there are ways for state lawmakers to improve the criminal-justice system while still saving money.

District attorney John Chisholm says he has a plan that will bring down prison costs and also ensure the county remains safe.

In a speech Friday, Chisholm suggested that sentencing guidelines be loosened to give judges more flexibility. He says that could shift convicts from prison cells into programs that will help keep them clean.

In return, he wants the cost savings re-invested into the justice system so authorities can keep funding programs that deter crime.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the state will spend $1.2 billion this year to house about 23,000 inmates. About 40 percent of the inmates come from Milwaukee County.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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