The Pittsburgh Tribune Review has a story on a Pew study on the cost of incarceration/corrections in states. There is little question that the cost of our prisons is skyrocketing, and is expected to continue to do so. Here is the full report, and here is the fact sheet for Pennsylvania – some of the charts on the latter are pretty staggering.
Clearly public safety is the primary goal of our corrections system, but doing so in an effective – and affordable – manner must be a priority. Pennsylvania can look to Texas, which has adopted a number of reforms (many on a small, trial basis) in their criminal justice system to alleviate the need for addition prisons. Our sister think tank, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, has a wealth of resources on this issue.