How Much Money Is Spent on Prisons in the United States?


Quick Answer

As of 2010, the United States spends around 70 billion dollars each year on American prisons. For example, the state of California spends around $47,000 per year, per prisoner, and New York spends around $56,000 per prisoner annually.

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Full Answer

Since 1980, the prison population in the United States has risen from around 500,000 to more than 2.3 million people, increasing the money the states have to spend on the prison system. State prison money not only goes toward housing and feeding prisoners, but also toward probation and parole costs.

Many states take money out of their education fund to finance prisons. Some of the largest prison budgets include Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Houston.

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