CLEVELAND -- Ohio largest counties are sending fewer people to prison than a decade year.
An analysis of state prison records by The Plain Dealer newspaper showed that the number of people sent to prison from the state's largest county, Cuyahoga, in fiscal year 2013 was down 38 percent from 2003.
And that number is down 16 percent in Franklin County, 19 percent in Hamilton County, 33 percent in Lucas County, and 6 percent in Montgomery County.
Officials in Cuyahoga County attribute the decrease to several factors, including more programming options for low-level felons, a fall in the overall crime rate, and an end of the crack-cocaine epidemic that once filled prisons.
Officials say those being sent to prison now are the most violent and troubled felons.