Magazine article Corrections Forum

Think Long Term with Prison Cuts

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Think Long Term with Prison Cuts

Article excerpt

The News & Observer

In a forest of shortfalls for North Carolina's budget, another mighty oak is looming into view: a shortfall in prison beds and in money to solve that problem. Here's the math: Depending on the security level, it can cost up to nearly $100 million for a new 1,000-cell facility. North Carolina is approaching the end of a prison-building boom, with six large facilities opened since 2003. Despite that, North Carolina's prison population is expected to be about 1,000 over the number that can be housed judiciously, and projections estimate that by 2014 the prison population could stand at 46,000- close to 4,000 beyond projected capacity.

Housing a state prisoner costs more than $27,000 a year. The rest of the equation: North Carolina is facing a budget shortfall of at least $2 billion. That math, obviously, does not add up. North Carolina will have to find what does. …

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