Jan 1, 2011 5:43 PM by AP
DENVER (AP) - The number of inmates in Colorado prisons is falling for the first time in years, and legislative economists are predicting a steeper slide in coming years due in part to new state laws.
The Department of Corrections says the population in state prisons steadily rose from about 9,200 in fiscal 1993 to about 23,000 in fiscal 2009.
There were 22,860 inmates in state prisons as of last June. Legislative economists predict that will fall to 21,058 in June 2013 due to a combination of recent trends and new state laws. That would represent an average annual decrease of about 2.7 percent.
Department of Corrections spokeswoman Katherine Sanguinetti says the department is being cautious about the projections and only time will tell if they are correct.
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