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COMING UP:Share Opener Variant 2



>> Mexico's prison population has plummeted, statistics show the number of prisoners has dropped by one-fifth since 2014. For the first time in 20 years there are more beds than inmates in some of the country's prisons. The precipitous drop may be an unintended consequence of reforms made nearly a decade ago.
Reuters correspondent Christine Murray is in Mexico City.>> Experts have told us that the prison population here is falling due to a new justice system implemented over the last few years, since 2008. They say that police and prosecutors, whose roles changed significantly in the new system, are still grappling with how to pull together cases.
And as a result fewer people are entering prison.>> The new justice system raises standards for evidence and places greater responsibility on police. The higher standards lead some police to worry they might make errors while making arrests. Experts say those changes have led police to detain fewer people.
Prosecutors too are struggling to close cases, in many instances this may be due to a lack of training in new procedures. The reforms were made in 2008 and were supported by the US in the hope they would modernize Mexico's criminal justice system. The reforms and the drop in prisoners coincided with a record spike in murders in the country.
And while the number of people incarcerated is down the effects inside the prisons are unevenly distributed. Facilities remain overcrowded in at least 13 states.