It’s expensive to incarcerate someone. Between the basic costs, like the cost of food and the cost of employing staff, and additional programs, like education and training initiatives and healthcare for prisoners, it adds up.
The Vera Institute of Justice analyzed the expenditures of state corrections departments and found that “among the 40 states that participated in a survey, the cost of prisons was $39 billion in fiscal year 2010.” This averages out to around $1 billion per state.
The costs, however, vary dramatically throughout the country, as some states spend far more than others on prison costs. We’ve created a list of states with the most expensive inmates. The list is ranked in order by the average cost to house each inmate, which ranges from as low as $14,000 to upwards of $60,000 annually.