The United States’ world-leading incarceration rates make it “an international outlier.” The Country spends over $80 billion annually on maintaining its growing prison population. Recent analysis of crime rates by New York Times Opinion contributors show this system fails cost-benefit analysis.
The cost of prisons expands into the larger economy. High prison costs mean states dedicate more funds to incarceration than to other budget items. The amount spent on prisoners tends to exceed the amount a state spends on education for each public school student.
(Sources: 2014 report by the Hamilton Project, U.S. News opinion piece & CNN)