Connect with us

Maps

Mapped: U.S. States by Cost Per Prisoner

Published

on

See this visualization first on the Voronoi app.

In this map, we illustrate the cost per prisoner across all U.S. states.

Mapped: U.S. States by Cost Per Prisoner

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

The U.S. has a prison population of over 1.2 million inmates.

In this map, we show the cost per prisoner across U.S. states, using data from USAFacts.

USAFacts sourced spending data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances (last updated in June 2023), and prison population data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (last updated November 2023).

Differences in Prison Spending Vary Widely Across States

More than $80 billion is spent annually on prisons in the United States.

A large part of this is used to pay over 4,000 vendors that serve the criminal legal system, including healthcare providers and food suppliers.

At the state level, most of the budget goes for day-to-day operations, including officer salaries.

In high-wage states such as California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, officers receive double the salaries compared to those in lower-wage states like Mississippi, Missouri, and Kentucky.

As a result, spending can vary from just under $23,000 per prisoner in Arkansas to $307,468 in Massachusetts.

StateExpenditure per prisoner (USD)
Massachusetts307K
Vermont134K
New Jersey133K
California128K
Maine117K
Rhode Island117K
New York116K
Maryland114K
New Mexico113K
Washington108K
Connecticut103K
Alaska93K
Delaware91K
Nebraska88K
North Dakota84K
West Virginia82K
Minnesota80K
Oregon79K
Colorado76K
Wyoming75K
New Hampshire74K
Utah73K
Illinois68K
Pennsylvania67K
Michigan65K
Wisconsin64K
Montana64K
North Carolina63K
Hawaii62K
Virginia61K
Kansas49K
South Dakota49K
Ohio44K
Idaho42K
Iowa42K
Florida42K
Arizona41K
Nevada40K
Tennessee39K
South Carolina38K
Kentucky36K
Indiana33K
Alabama33K
Missouri32K
Oklahoma32K
Texas31K
Georgia30K
Louisiana25K
Mississippi24K
Arkansas23K

States With the Highest Incarceration Rates

Southern U.S. states have the highest imprisonment rates according to 2022 data, with Mississippi at 859 people per 100,000, Louisiana at 775, and Arkansas at 743.

Massachusetts has the lowest rate of any state, with 116 people per 100,000.

Click for Comments
Visualizing Asia's Water Dilemma

Subscribe

Popular