• Mass. spends more on prisons, as crime rates drop


    BOSTON (AP) - A new report is critical of Massachusetts for putting more people behind bars and spending more on prisons, even though the state's violent crime rate is down dramatically.

    The 40-page report commissioned by the nonpartisan MassInc research group says the percentage of Massachusetts residents behind bars has tripled since the early 1980s, as the state has clung to tough-on-crime laws and mandatory minimum sentences that other states have abandoned as ineffective.

    The Boston Globe reports that the study also criticizes the state for paying too little attention to successfully integrating prisoners back into society.

    The report estimated that policies that have led to more Draconian sentences and fewer paroles have extended prison stays by a third since 1990, costing the state an extra $150 million a year.

    Next Up: