The rising cost of prison housing in Texas has attracted the attention of many. Close ones of prisoners are interested in learning how much it really costs to keep someone in a correctional facility.
The cost of keeping an inmate inside a prison rises for some factors. So what are those factors? Are there any ways to reduce the expenses?
In this article, we will analyze them and know how much it costs to house an inmate in Texas in 2023.
Cost To House An Inmate In Texas In 2023
|Facility Type||Cost Per Inmate Per Day||Average Stay||Total Cost of Incarceration|
|State-Operated Prisons||$62.34||4.2 Years||$95,633|
|State-Operated Jails||$52.46||5.4 Months||$17,245|
|Privately Operated State Jails||$33.83||5.4 Months||$11,121|
This housing inmate cost in Texas is from 2018. As of 2023, the amounts remain the same as the chart unchanged since 2018.
As you can see, state-operated prisons must pay $62.34 per day for each prisoner, which will cost $22,754.1 annually.
State-operated prisons cost $52.46 per year, which means it’ll cost 19,147.9 US dollars for each inmate. Finally, privately operated state jails pay only $33.83 per day per offender.
So it requires only 12,347.95 US dollars. This is indeed much lower than the standard of living.
How Much Does It Cost For Taxpayers To House An Inmate in Texas?
Texas taxpayers pay $50.79 per day for each prisoner, or $18,538 a year, less than the average nationwide. Building a brand-new state prison bed requires about $60,000.
The cost of probation is $2.92 per day, of which inmates pay $1.62 in charges, leaving the taxpayers with a daily cost of $1.30.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Housing Inmates in Texas
These key factors are affecting the cost of housing inmates in Texas:
Prison Infrastructure and Maintenance
Modernization, construction, and maintenance of correctional facilities heavily impact the cost of housing inmates in Texas. Hence, it’s expensive enough to keep prisoners in good condition.
Staffing and Security
Providing safety to the inmates is a must thing a prison should offer. Hence it needs staffing and adding other cutting-edge technologies like security cameras and more.
The cost of staffing and security also has an impact. The more health and medical care services are required for the inmates, the higher the expenses get, which adds to the cost of housing inmates.
Food, Clothing, and Supplies
Food, clothing, and other supplies like beds and TVs are also necessary things for them. Prisons must spend a lot of money to collect these basic needs.
Inmate Programs and Services
Correctional facilities offer various academic programs and work projects to help inmates become better individuals for their future. These require a lot of money from prisons which, of course, affects the cost of keeping inmates.
Length of Incarceration
The longer a prisoner stays in prison, the more money will be needed to provide them with essential needs. Hence, the overall cost will be highly affected.
Exploring Alternatives: Can Texas Reduce Inmate Housing Expenses?
Texas is trying to reduce the cost of keeping prisoners in prison. However, it’s impossible if they don’t stop housing inmates inside correctional facilities. But is this possible?
Two possible ways can help Texas decrease the cost by lessening the number of prisoners in prison. If there are enough cameras to monitor the criminals properly and send offenders to rehabilitation centers directly, it will help reduce costs.
In Texas in 2023, housing costs and offenders create a significant financial burden for the state. The price is currently pretty high because of the expenses related to operating the prison system, like keeping inmates and supplying them with food, medical care, and more.
However, there are ways to reduce the cost. If Texas can monitor offenders strictly while they are in society and add the ones in rehabilitation who already got involved with crimes, the overall costs will be reduced.