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How much does prison cost in each state/prisoner?

You know, having given the matter a lot of thought. I really think crime does pay. That is unless you're a moron and habitually get caught...then it's just a mediocre line of work.

U.S. States by Cost Per Prisoner

June 9, 2024

By Bruno Venditti, Visual Capitalist

The U.S. has a prison population of over 1.2 million inmates.

Differences in Prison Spending Vary Widely Across States

More than $80 billion is spent annually on prisons in the United States.

A large part of this is used to pay over 4,000 vendors that serve the criminal legal system, including healthcare providers and food suppliers.

At the state level, most of the budget goes for day-to-day operations, including officer salaries.

In high-wage states such as California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, officers receive double the salaries compared to those in lower-wage states like Mississippi, Missouri, and Kentucky.

As a result, spending can vary from just under $23,000 per prisoner in Arkansas to $307,468 in Massachusetts.

States With the Highest Incarceration Rates

Southern U.S. states have the highest imprisonment rates according to 2022 data, with Mississippi at 859 people per 100,000, Louisiana at 775, and Arkansas at 743.

Massachusetts has the lowest rate of any state, with 116 people per 100,000.

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