One of the deepest cuts in pending North Carolina budget proposals comes from closing several state prisons, amounting to tens of millions of dollars diverted and hundreds of jobs lost, report the Raleigh News & Observer. There are fewer prisoners than there used to be. The main reason for the shrinking prisons is a massive revision of state sentencing laws, which is meant to keep as many offenders out of prison as possible through closer supervision and treatment. One part of the Justice Reinvestment Act, approved by the legislature last session, shifts those who have committed misdemeanors from prisons into county jails. Another provision increases the amount of a sentence to be served in jail instead of prison. State prison admissions have dropped 17 percent from fiscal year 2010-11 to 2011-12 – a decrease in nearly 5,000. “The rest of the country is looking to us as a model,” said corrections chief David Guice.