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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 said 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 said that could shift convicts from prison cells into programs that will help keep them from reoffending.

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

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 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.

Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com

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