BOISE -- Idaho Gov. C.L. Butch Otter has signed a new law that proponents hope will reduce the state's high incarceration rate and save money on prison spending.
The Justice Reinvestment legislation makes several tweaks to Idaho's criminal justice system. Most of the changes focus on what happens when a person is sentenced, imprisoned or placed on parole or probation.
The law asks judges to take into account whether a defendant poses a low or high risk of reoffending and to consider placing more low-risk and non-violent offenders on probation instead of sending them to prison. The package also aims to give probation and parole officers the power to levy swift sanctions on people who violate the terms of probation, rather than having them wait months for a hearing by a judge.