Tags: Voting Rights | prison | inmate | costs | oregon

What Are Prison Costs Per Inmate in Oregon?

By    |   Friday, 12 Feb 2016 04:55 PM

Oregon's prison system has been called one of the best in the nation, with some of the lowest rates of recidivism in the U.S.

However, this type of system can be expensive to maintain, and the cost of keeping it running has risen significantly over the last several years. This has been due in part to the state’s crackdown on crime in the mid 1990s, which led to more people being incarcerated and given longer sentences.

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Total operating costs for the Oregon Department of Corrections have increased rapidly, as has per-inmate costs such as medical care.

The Partnership for Safety and Justice reported that as of June 2013, Oregon paid $84.81 per day, per inmate. The daily cost included vital expenses such as food, medical care, and prison security as well as programs designed to prepare inmates for life after prison to keep them from offending after their release.

However, that $84.81 only included expenses directly related to prisoner care and housing. The corrections system had millions more in expenses such as operating costs, employee salaries, construction, and the startup costs for new prisons. These expenses were additional costs not reflected in the per-inmate total.

Also, the per-inmate cost was merely an average; the expenses for any individual inmate could have been much higher. Indeed, as The Oregonian reported, the system might have spent more on some inmates because of age and health.

The newspaper said that according to officials with the corrections system, a 40-year-old inmate may have an annual health expense of $776, while an inmate over age 70 might require $6,527 of healthcare a year.

In 2010, for example, the state paid more than $1 million in medical expenses for a single inmate, a woman with multiple medical conditions. The Oregonian also reported that as of 2011, the medical care inmates routinely received averaged $567 per month.

The overall direct cost per day has been on the rise, according to the Partnership for Safety and Justice. Since 1995, it’s grown by 65 percent. The state now ranks higher than several states, including Texas, Florida, Idaho, and Tennessee, for per-inmate costs.

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Oregon's prison system has been called one of the best in the U.S. However, the cost of keeping it running has risen significantly over the last several years. Total operating costs for the Oregon Department of Corrections have increased rapidly, as has per-inmate costs such as medical care.
prison, inmate, costs, oregon
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2016-55-12
Friday, 12 Feb 2016 04:55 PM
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