Prison Spending Outpaces All but Medicaid

The New York Times March 2, 2009 Solomon Moore

One in every 31 adults, or 7.3 million Americans, is in prison, on parole or probation, at a cost to the states of $47 billion in 2008, according to a new study.

As states face huge budget shortfalls, prisons, which hold 1.5 million adults, are driving the spending increases.

One in 11 African-Americans, or 9.2 percent, are under correctional control, compared with one in 27 Latinos (3.7 percent) and one in 45 whites (2.2 percent).Only one out of 89 women is behind bars or monitored, compared with one out of 18 men.

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