In 2006, state researchers estimated Colorado's prisons would be bursting with 29,443 inmates by 2013.
Now it appears they were off by nearly 8,000 prisoners — off in a good way. Fresher predictions say Colorado will hold only 21,662 people in 2013, part of a steady decline in prison populations nationwide that defies previous recession trends and underlines a systemic decrease in crime.
This is good news, but the number of people incarcerated should really be much lower. The state should entirely stop enforcing drug laws, prostitution laws and other crimes without a direct victim. If they were to do this the number of inmates would drop dramatically and the state could focus on violent offenders and those who have committed property crimes.