The Average Cost to House Inmates in Prison
Security and Administration
- To have someone on duty for security, it costs $19,663 per inmate per year. That amounts to $53.87 a day. Administration costs are $3,493 per inmate per year. That amounts to $9.56 a day. That amounts to $23,156 per year for security and administration.
- The cost for inmate health care can be high. Because every inmate is entitled to health care, the cost per inmate for health care per year is $12,442. Broken down, that is $8,768 for medical care, $1,928 for psychiatric services, $998 for pharmaceuticals and $748 for dental care. That amounts to $38.04 per day per year.
- The operations costs per inmate per year are $7,214. Broken down, that is $4,503 for facility operations, classification services is $1,773, maintenance of records is $660, assignment, testing and reception costs $261 and transportation costs $18. That amounts to $19.76 per day per year.
- The cost per year for rehabilitation programs per inmate are $1,612. Broken down, that is $944 for academic education, $354 for vocational training and $313 for substance abuse programs. That amounts to $4.41 per day per year.
- To house an inmate and provide inmate support, it costs $2,562 per year. That is $1,475 for food, $439 for activities, $407 for canteen and employment, $171 for clothing and $70 for religious activities. That amounts to $7.02 per day per year.
- All told, it costs an average of $129.04 a day to house an inmate in the prison system. Although these figures come from California corrections, it is slightly lower in other parts of the country, but not by much.