Cheaper to Lock them up or let them go?

Blog Post
The Congressional Research Service reported, “Since the early 1980s, there has been a historically unprecedented increase in the federal prison population.”

“The number of inmates under the Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) jurisdiction has increased from approximately 25,000 in FY1980 to nearly 219,000 in FY2012. Since FY1980, the federal prison population has increased, on average, by approximately 6,100 inmates each year…the largest portion of newly admitted inmates are being incarcerated for drug offenses.”

Rising costs, overcrowding and deteriorating prison infrastructure are becoming a real problem at BOP. And with the federal budget (we haven’t actually had a Congressional Budget since 2009, but if we had one) stretched to the limits —  Should we embark on a new and vastly expensive prison expansion program when we can’t maintain the Navy’s ships and we’re deficit spending two trillion dollars each year over and above what we take in?
Minimum sentencing guidelines for many federal crimes mean that  the population will continue to grow at a steady — and unprecedented rate.
Do policy makers care? Apparently they don’t.
According to the Federal Register, the average cost of incarceration in 2009 (latest figures) was $25,251.00 per prisoner per year. 
There are about 47,000,000 Americans receiving USDA Food Stamps at a cost to the taxpayer of roughly $80,000,000,000. If you do the math, you’ll agree with me that it’s cheaper to keep somebody on food stamps than it is to keep them locked in prison. But SNAP (food stamps) doesn’t include or take into account welfare benefits, SDI, subsidized housing, AFDC, Medicaid, Child Care Subsidies, TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). If you were to lump all of those together, you might be uncomfortably close to the incarceration number.
When you have to wonder whether it’s cheaper to keep them locked up or to release them in an environment where they are unlikely to get a job — thus putting them on the dole — you have reached a tipping point, my friends.

7 thoughts on “Cheaper to Lock them up or let them go?

  1. The population is about to increase by 20 to 30…I'm just sayin'. In addition to food stamps, there's Social Security for being unable to work for fake injuries, private insurance fraud in the way of fake car accidents and slip-and-falls, the cost of housing projects that are trashed and 50% fraudulently occupied – and then demolished, unemployment for drug dealers (and their couriers and facilitators), FEMA fraud (who had their people stay in nice hotels, while they ENCOURAGED fraud so that they could give out more money), and don't forget the Child Tax Credit – where inner city tax cheats get $3,000 to -$5,000 per filer for children (with social security numbers) that are not theirs, and for inmates, etc…

    I say, before we stop locking the criminals up, stop the system that keeps them as slaves to the government first.

    …and that will never happen, so keep locking them up.

    ….it won't be long before I head for Gault's Gulch.

  2. Danger, Will Robinson — I guess that would be us, the small bloggers. Obama would love to ignore us. No, wait….

  3. I have the solution: Application of the Death Penalty for Shoplifting and/or all other equal or greater crimes. It would solve all sorts of problems.

  4. I was simply trying to decide whether it's cheaper to lock criminals up or to free them. You convinced me. Cheaper to lock them up.

    The liberal/progressive agenda is to create slaves, as you know. It began with Pres. Johnson's great society and it's only getting more strident and more expensive under Pres. O'Bama.

  5. He swept into office — again — and feels free to disregard everyone. And he has an open check book. (freak in a whorehouse with somebody else's credit card)

  6. They would apply a political litmus test. Conservative – fry. Progressive – give them more benefits/money (money for nothing, chicks for free)

Comments are closed.

Scroll to top