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Correctional Budgets

NCJ Number
Corrections Compendium Volume: 36 Issue: 1 Dated: Spring 2011 Pages: 17-29
Cece Hill
Date Published
13 pages
A State-by-State tabular presentation of corrections budget information obtained by a survey of 45 correctional systems covers the average daily inmate population as of December 31, 2009; the total budget amount for the State Department of Corrections; and the approximate percentage of allocated costs per budget category.
The budget categories cover costs for administration, custody/security staff, inmate health care, institutional services, physical operations, community programs for the internal population, community programs for the external population, correctional industries, parole, probation, and construction. A narrative summary of survey findings focuses on funding sources, programs, factors in increasing and decreasing budgets, and anticipated changes. Regarding funding sources, 17 of the reporting systems issued bonds to supplement their budgeted needs, and 9 systems used prior-year funds. Purposes for the debt service included conversion of a current facility to be used for mental health treatment, energy conservation projects, relocation of headquarters and a training academy, capital construction and renovations, and facility maintenance. Regarding programs, 34 of the reporting systems did not include any new programs within their budgets. Among the systems that did, Florida initiated a reentry effort and a pilot program of alternative sentencing. Of the 16 systems that received a budget increase, New York and Texas topped the list at $278.6 million and $229.4 million, respectively. Budgets were sharply reduced in 27 of the reporting systems, down from 15 responding systems in the previous fiscal or calendar year. Numerous systems indicated it will be necessary for them to further reduce future budgets, resulting in closing additional facilities and changes in the types of inmate health care currently being provided. 6 tables