$75,000+ goes to California prisons

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$75,560. That’s the costs of housing the 130,000 inmates in California’s prisons for the upcoming year. California’s fiscal year begins July 1st, and Governor Jerry Brown includes $11.4 billion for the corrections department. This grand total also comes with the prediction that 11,500 fewer inmates will be taken in four years with voters approving shorter sentences in November of 2016 for many inmates.

Since 2005, the price for each inmate has doubled, even with court orders to help overcrowding cutting the population by one-fourth. A large portion of the increase stems from the salaries and benefits for the prison guards along with medical providers.

California will now hold the nation’s largest per inmate costs, which is rough $2,000 more than tuition, room and board, fees and other college expenses  at Harvard University

California’s per-inmate costs have surged nearly $10,000, or about 13% since 2015, . New York isecond in overall costs at approximately $69,000.

“Now that we’re incarcerating less, we haven’t ramped the system back down,” said Chris Hoene, executive director of the left-leaning California Budget & Policy Center.he corrections department has one employee for every two inmates, compared with one employee for roughly every four inmates in 1994.

The corrections department has one employee for every two inmates currently, compared to 1994 with one employee for every four inmates.

California has previously been sued over prison overcrowding. To comply with a federal court-imposed population cap,  most lower-level offenders in county jails instead of state prisons. Additionally, 2014 voters reduced penalties for drug and property crimes. They also this past fall approved the earlier releases.

State Sen. Jom Nielson  (R-Gerber) said  “prison dividend” was falsely promised from reformers from savings related to the changes. There now instead seems to be a rise in many crimes causing worry it will lead to an influx of new inmates that will cost more to house.

Joan Petersilia, co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, said it was “highly predictable” that per-inmate costs would increase even as the population decreased.

“We released all the low-risk, kind of low-need, and we kept in the high-risk, high-need,” she said.

As one of the largest states in the nation, it’s no surprise that California will have the largest budget for their prison systems and employees. This increase in the budget for these prisons systems even with the decline of the prison’s population has brought a lot of attention and discussion of the allocated budget money.  With the current economic climate, the cost of a year of Harvard being invested into prisons raises some red flags.

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1 Comment

  1. Terry Scaife Smith

    Terry Scaife Smith

    June 9, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Stop breaking the law

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