Data: Illinois prison population decreased since 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois prison data show that the state's population of inmates has dropped by more than 4,200 since fiscal year 2014.

Illinois Department of Corrections numbers show that the total prison population in the state was 44,680 as of July 1. That's down from 47,165 in June 2015 and 48,921 in June 2014. The drop comes as GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner promises to reduce the state's prison population by 25 percent over the next decade. Rauner created a commission to recommend how to reach that goal.

The downward trend started before the commission convened. The Illinois Radio Network reports ( ) judges and law enforcement have taken up the panel's recommendations.

John Howard Association Executive Director Jennifer Vollen-Katz says it's "a step in the right direction" but prisons are still overcrowded. The group monitors Illinois prisons.

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