Housing A California Inmate Costs More Than A Year Of Harvard Tuition
Housing A California Inmate Costs More Than A Year Of Harvard Tuition
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Housing A California Inmate Costs More Than A Year Of Harvard Tuition

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

The cost of housing a prisoner in California now costs over $75,000 — more than the annual tuition at Harvard University.

In a report from the Los Angeles Times, the cost of housing California's 130,000 inmates is expected to reach $75,560 in the next year. A part of Gov. Jerry Brown's spending plan for the fiscal year is a "$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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The report then reveals that the cost of housing prisoners in California has doubled since 2005, even though the prison population in the state has declined.

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As the LA Times writes:

California was sued over prison overcrowding, and to comply with a federal court-imposed population cap, the Brown administration now keeps most lower-level offenders in county jails instead of state prisons. Additionally, voters in 2014 reduced penalties for drug and property crimes and last fall approved the earlier releases.

State Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) said reformers falsely promised a 'prison dividend' from savings related to the changes. Instead, there's now an uptick in many crimes and he's worried it will lead to an influx of new inmates that will cost more to house.

Joan Petersilia, co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, said it was "highly predictable" that per-inmate costs would increase even as the population decreased.

"We released all the low-risk, kind of low-need, and we kept in the high-risk, high-need," she said.

Source: LATimes.com