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Adult Correctional Budgets, 2007-2008

NCJ Number
Corrections Compendium Volume: 33 Issue: 6 Dated: November/December 2008 Pages: 13-23
Cece Hill
Date Published
November 2008
11 pages
Results are presented from a survey of 45 United States correctional systems and 3 correctional systems in Canada providing information on their overall correctional budgets during 2007-2008.
Of the 45 United States correctional systems reporting, the overall correctional budget was $44.6 billion. More than $44 billion was used to house 1,188,125 offenders and monitor 1,789,793 parolees or probationers during 2007-2008. Last year, only Montana indicated that its budget had decreased; this year, it was Wyoming based on personnel and salary issues. Correctional systems broke down their budgets into allocated cost categories that included administration, custody/security staff, inmate health care, institutional services, physical operations, community programs for internal populations, community programs for external populations, correctional industries, parole, probation, and construction. Survey results are presented in the areas of funding sources, new or community programs, impact of budget increases, and anticipated changes for 2008-2009. Highlights of the survey include: (1) 17 of the reporting United States systems issue bonds for their proposed projects; (2) Federal funds appear to be the predominate sources of other funding, along with State-generated funds; (3) 29 of the United States reporting systems noted that no new programs were included in their operations; (4) community programs seem to center on work-release operations, day reporting centers, and transitional or halfway housing as well as substance abuse and electronic monitoring programs; (5) the number of new staff added to the payrolls reached 16,926, with 13,459 added in California alone; (6) increases in staff salaries and more emphasis on mental health services were indicated; and (7) the rising costs related to expanding medical and mental health services, salary increases, and the same general expenses the country is experiencing, such as utilities, fuel, and food items seem to be significant concerns. Future predictions show a trend in increasing budgets.