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The United States may soon see its prison population drop for the first time in almost four decades, a milestone in a nation that locks up more people than any other.
States also are looking at ways to keep people from ever entering prison. A nationwide system of drug courts takes first-time felony offenders caught with less than a gram of illegal drugs and sets up a monitoring team to help with case management and therapy.
Studies have touted significant savings with drug courts, saying they cost 10 percent to 30 percent less than it costs to send someone to prison.
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