Judges in Missouri now have access to details of the public cost as they weigh prison time versus probation.
The state’s sentencing advisory commission began this practice last month, according to The New York Times. Proponents hope that this cost comparison will encourage judges to consider alternatives to prison time.
But prosecutors and other critics worry that judges will focus more on dollar amounts during sentencing, and overlook the risks of keeping convicted criminals out of prison.
No other state provides judges with these cost estimates, according to the report.