Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Counties Eye Alternatives to Jails.

Byline: Miguel Navrot Journal Staff Writer

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America's escalating number of jail inmates, estimated by some experts to be near 14 million, is causing public officials nationwide to look for new ways to handle the seemingly endless growth in prison populations.

And while building more and bigger jails isn't always the solution, public officials must juggle one important factor beyond costs when deciding how to deal with the problems of overcrowding the political perception that they may be soft on crime.

"It's something that's become politically dangerous," Dennis Maloney, director of Deschutes County Community Justice Department in Oregon said Wednesday. …

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