Nevada prison population falls in 2009 |

Nevada prison population falls in 2009

RENO (AP) – Nevada’s prison population fell in 2009, mirroring a nationwide trend.

A survey by the Pew Center on the States says the number of inmates in state prisons nationwide declined last year for the first time in about 40 years.

Nevada had 12,743 inmates on Dec. 31, 2008. That number fell 1.6 percent to 12,539 as of Jan. 1, 2010.

The report says the decline reflects policy changes, such as allowing inmates to earn good-time credits from programs to shorten their sentences.

It said the inmate reduction saved Nevada $38 million and helped avoid $1.2 billion in prison construction costs.