Is State Corrections Spending Sustainable?

The chart below shows the unsustainable growth in Pennsylvania state corrections spending and inmate population.

The criminal justice system’s goal shouldn’t be to simply lock up as many people as possible, but also to ensure offenders are rehabilitated before reentering society. When the Pew Center on the States looked at prisoners released in Pennsylvania between 1999-2002 and 2004-2007, it found the rate of prisoners returning to prisons increased.

As we mentioned yesterday, we need to replace ineffective correction policies with those that lower crime rates, reduce re-offending, and control spending. To learn more about correction reforms, see our criminal justice recommendations.