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Publication State Prison Expenditures, 2001

James J. Stephan, Bureau of Justice Statistics

January 1, 2004    NCJ 202949

Presents comparative data on the cost of operating the Nation's State prisons. The study is based on institutional corrections elements of the Fiscal 2001 Survey of Government Finances which State budget officers reported to the U.S. Census Bureau. State-level spending is presented on prison employee salaries and wages; employer contributions to employee benefits; supplies, contractual services, and other operating costs; and capital expenditures, e.g. building construction, renovations, major repairs, and land purchases. Additional data reveal amounts spent on food, inmate medical care, utilities, and contractual services.


  • Prison operations consumed about 77% of State correctional costs in FY 2001.
  • State correctional expenditures increased 145% in 2001 constant dollars from $15.6 billion in FY 1986 to 38.2 billion in FY 2001; prison expenditures increased 150% from $11.7 billion to $29.5 billion.
  • Spending on medical care for State prisoners totaled $3.3 billion, or 12% of operating expenditures in 2001.

Part of the State Prison Expenditures Series

Full report (PDF 197K)
ASCII file (42K)
ZIP Format (Spreadsheet 53K)
To order paper version

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