One in every 31 adults in the United States is under some form of correctional supervision, according to the Public Safety Performance Project of the Pew Center on the States. There are 2.3 million people incarcerated in state or federal prisons and local jails. Combine that with more than 5 million people on probation or parole, and you have 7.3 million people under correctional supervision. That is more than the combined populations of Chicago, Philadelphia, San Diego and Dallas.
Yet while nearly 90 percent of corrections money went to prisons, only 31 percent of offenders under some kind of correctional supervision are incarcerated, according to the new Pew Center on the States report, "1 in 31: The Long Reach of Corrections," that analyzed data from 33 states.
In other words, one day in prison costs more than 10 days on parole or 22 days on probation.
PRISONS DOMINATE SPENDING Across 34 states, nearly 9 of 10 correctional dollars went to prisons in FY 2008. AMOUNT TO PROBATION AND PAROLE $2.52 billion 12% AMOUNT TO PRISONS $18.65 billion 88% TOTAL CORRECTIONS SPENDING $21.17...