Time to change the “three strikes” sentencing laws? In light of growing concerns about rising prison costs and inflexible sentencing rules, many states, including Washington, are considering changes to “Three Strikes” sentencing laws. But those changes are unlikely to have a dramatic impact on the overall prison population, said Clayton Mosher, associate professor of sociology at Washington State University Vancouver who studies crime, sentencing and incarceration. Although California is a notable exception, Mosher said that generally these laws have not had a major impact on increasing the number of inmates. In Washington, only about 200 individuals have been subject to the laws since they were passed. Mosher said that continued changes in drug sentencing laws would have a far more dramatic impact on the number of people behind bars and on the state’s need to add to the capacity of its prison system. Mosher said that there is no doubt that several of the prison in the state currently are overcrowded, and shipping inmates out of state as is being done now is costly and problematic for other reasons as well. Mosher can be reached at 360.546.9439 or mosher@vancouver.wsu.edu