HB 210: A Tradeoff of Lighter Drug Trafficking and Repeat Drug Selling Sentences for Harsher Sentences for Serious Person and Property Crimes
Group: Criminal Justice Council
In this follow-up study, the 2006 HB 210 sentence lengths – longer for violent crimes and shorter for drug selling – for the most part conformed to the new law. However, instead of a bed saving as was initially experienced, or a bed neutral result that was originally expected, by 2006 – 2007 there was a need for at least 338 more DOC beds. This increased bed demand was caused more by changes in crime volume, conviction rates and plea-bargaining than deviations from the expectations for HB 210. Of special note is the significant increase in the use of habitual sentences in place of the shorter HB 210 drug sentences. While there was speculation that this might happen, this is the first documentation that such a change actually occurred. These changes since 2004, many of them unanticipated, contributed to the increased 2006 and 2007 DOC prison populations.
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