Article by Dactivists (Digital + Activists): The political arm of Digital Afro. We are people united together to bring world wide social change through technology created by Stephen Brown. @stevebtech
The cost of imprisoning each of California’s 130,000 inmates is expected to reach a record $75,560 in the next year That’s enough to cover the annual cost of attending Harvard University and still have plenty left over for room and board.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1 includes a record $11.4 billion for the corrections department while also predicting that there will be 11,500 fewer inmates in four years because voters in November approved earlier releases for many inmates.
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Cost per prisoner has doubled since 2005
The price for each inmate has doubled since 2005, even as court orders related to overcrowding have reduced the population by about one-quarter. Salaries and benefits for prison guards and medical providers drove much of the increase.
The result is a per-inmate cost that is the nation’s highest — and $2,000 above tuition, fees, room and board, and other expenses to attend Harvard.
Since 2015, California’s per-inmate costs have surged nearly $10,000, or about 13%. New York is a distant second in overall costs at about $69,000.
Critics say with fewer inmates, the costs should be falling.
“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.
For example, the corrections department has one employee for every two inmates, compared with one employee for roughly every four inmates in 1994.
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