While Texas’ costs were 23.7 percent higher with the associated additional costs, other states ranged from 1 percent higher (Arizona) to 34 percent (Connecticut). Texas was one of six states — Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, New York and Pennsylvania — where between 20 and 34 percent of the corrections budgets were outside the prisons system budget.Factors outside of TDCJ's budget included employee benefits and taxes, underfunded pension benefits and retiree health contributions, retirement costs, judgments and claims, and statewide administrative costs. I wonder what the folks at the Legislative Budget Board would have to say about Vera's calculations, and whether they need to update their Uniform Cost Report (pdf) on corrections as a result?
When all costs are considered, the annual average taxpayer cost in these states was $31,166 per convict, according to the study. In Texas, the cost is $21,390 a year per convict.
See the full report, The Price of Prisons: What Incarceration Costs Taxpayers, here.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
23% of Texas prison spending outside of TDCJ's budget
According to a new report (pdf) by the Vera Institute, "Texas taxpayers pay an average 23 percent more for state prisons than the state’s annual corrections budget reflects," reports Mike Ward at the Austin Statesman: "The new report by the Vera Institute of Justice, a New York-based research organization that tracks criminal justice trends, calculates the state’s total costs for its adult corrections and prison programs at $3.3 billion — almost $783 million higher than the $2.5 billion annual budget for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice." Wrote Ward: