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State Spending for Corrections: Long-Term Trends and Recent Criminal Justice Policy Reforms

This issue brief provides an excellent look at issues surrounding correctional expenditures and cost-cutting reforms at the state level. Sections cover: an overview of the rise of state spending on corrections; the prison population and incarceration costs; state corrections spending trends; and criminal justice policy reforms. “Despite the demonstrated successes of criminal justice reforms, cost savings have yet to produce an overall decline in corrections spending. However, the policy reforms are improving the way states spend money for corrections, and the outcomes show better results for individuals and citizens. Over time, the cost savings from smart, criminal justice polices may lead to correctional spending declines, an outcome that would benefit all of state government” (p. 5).