Incarceration v Education

Despite drops in crime, the number of prisoners in the US has continued to increase.  The US locks up more people per capita than any other country; we are 5% of the world population with 25% of the world’s prisoners.  The number of people in prison has quadrupled since 1980, currently roughly 1 in every 100 adults.  

Prison spending now costs states an estimated $80 billion annually, or $260 per resident.  In at least 40 states, more is spent annually to imprison an individual than to educate an elementary/secondary student.  The following chart can be found at CNN Money.

Education vs prison costs - CNNMoney.jpg


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