Tags: Voting Rights | minnesota | corrections | budget | prison

What is the Percentage of Minnesota's Budget Allocated to Corrections?

By    |   Thursday, 24 Mar 2016 07:20 PM

Minnesota, like all other states, has a prison population that needs supervision and from which the public has to be protected. This costs money and those costs are increasing each year.

Efforts by the state authorities to keep the prison population down have resulted in Minnesota having the second-lowest incarceration rate in the country.

The current levels of slightly less than 10,000 people are still a drain on the state budget, and the percentage allocated to corrections is always a subject of debate.

In Minnesota, the state authorities spent just under $482 million on corrections in the year ending 2014. As a percentage of overall public spending, the figure on corrections came in at 1.5 percent of the overall state budget of $35.3 billion. This reflects the state government policy of keeping the prison population low and costs under control.

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In contrast, Minnesota spent 29.2 percent on kindergarten through 12th grade education and 24.3 percent of the budget on Medicaid in the same fiscal period.

Minnesota's spending on corrections is low compared to other states in the country. Neighboring Wisconsin, which has almost equal size general population, has 23,000 people behind bars and an annual budget for corrections of $1.2 billion while in Michigan the budget reaches more than $2 billion per annum.

Minnesota does have a high per capita of prison population spend of $41,364, 29 percent higher than the average state outlay.

Medical costs are a big part of state expenditure on correctional facilities. With an aging population and one that has lived a hard life, heart problems, diabetes and cancer are common complaints among inmates who are 50 years old or older.

Because of the state's lack of parole and fixed sentencing policy, many inmates are now growing old in prison. The rise of the million-dollar patient who has very high annual medical costs is hitting the correctional budget.

Of the overall budget spent on correctional facilities, $345 million goes into the individual institutions for staff salaries, healthcare, education, transport, and other ancillary costs. The balance is allocated to community services for probation and other such programs and into operation support for information technology, office services, and human resources management.

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Efforts by state authorities to keep the prison population down have resulted in Minnesota having the second-lowest incarceration rate in the country. The current levels are still a drain on the state budget, and the percentage allocated to corrections is always a subject of debate.
minnesota, corrections, budget, prison
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2016-20-24
Thursday, 24 Mar 2016 07:20 PM
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