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Lackawanna County is jailing people at twice the national average

Those who commit a crime in Lackawanna County may spend time in jail. Those who are convicted of a serious crime, like drug dealing or armed robbery, are aggressively prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. A new report shows that Lackawanna County is putting twice as many people in jail than the national average.

There are many reasons why there are so many more people who are incarcerated in Lackawanna County than the national average. Over the past 40 years, Lackawanna County's jail population has significantly increased. According to a report from the Vera Institute of Justice, nationally the number of people held in local jails increased by four times between 1970 and 2014. But in the Lackawanna County Prison, the numbers rose more than 14 times. In 2014, there were 341 people incarcerated for every 100,000 nationally. Lackawanna County Prison has 698 incarcerated for every 100,000.

So why does Lackawanna County have so many more prisoners than average? Some say it is because of an increase in drug use and poverty. Others say it is because judges are setting higher bails and increasing sentence lengths. Many inmates are not able to pay their bails. In addition, many judges are sentencing those who are convicted of a minor misdemeanor to jail time.

Those who have found themselves under arrest in Lackawanna County for a criminal offense may want to speak with a legal professional who is skilled in criminal defense. An attorney that has extensive experience with the Lackawanna County judicial system can help their client tell their side of the story. They can make sure their client's legal rights are protected and they can aggressively advocate on their client's behalf.

Source: thetimes-tribune.com, "Lackawanna County prison jailing people at twice the national average", Peter Cameron, March 5, 2017

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