Philadelphia Prison Population Down 11%

    Collaboration across departments in the criminal justice system has helped reduce Philadelphia’s prison population. City officials say the population is down about 11% from the previous year.

    Collaboration across departments in the criminal justice system has helped reduce Philadelphia’s prison population. City officials say the population is down about 11% from the previous year.

    Listen:
    [audio: 100223SPPRISON.mp3]

    Several years ago, inmates at the city’s holding cells had to take turns sitting, and some were forced to sleep on cement floors. A year ago the prison population almost reached 10,000. But today, there are about 8500 residents living in the city’s prisons.

    Prison Commissioner Louis Giorla says the reduction saves money and resources.

    Giorla: When you have 1,100 people using a toilets and the disposal system as opposed to 1,300 it makes a big difference. All of our systems are less stressed, all across the board.

    Giorla says overcoming bureaucratic hurdles within the system has helped reduce the population. He says ten percent of the city’s inmates have been sent to state prison. And better coordination among judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys have sped up the court process.

    But more than 1800 inmates are still living three to a cell.

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