BY NATE TAYLOR
A national report examining America's criminal corrections system suggests the tough economic times present an opportunity to expand supervision programs that don't involve offenders being locked up.
Larimer County officials agree and say further strides need to be made in those programs to help manage budgets and rehabilitate offenders, but also said those efforts have already been a focus in the county and in Colorado in recent years.
The national report, titled "1 in 31: The Long Reach of American Corrections" and conducted by the Pew Center on the States in Washington, D.C., concluded that in Colorado 1 in 29 people are under the supervision of the corrections system compared to 1 in 31 people across the nation.
Of those people under supervision, a majority is observed by parole or probation programs, but prisons receive far more state funding.
According to a Colorado Probation Services report for 2008, 75 percent of the corrections population was in parole, probation or community corrections programs, yet 82 percent of state funding goes toward prisons.
Both the Pew Center on the States and Larimer County officials think more resources needs to go to-ward supervision that doesn't involve prison.