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New Prison Spending Jumps by 73%


Federal and state corrections' systems will spend more than 6.7 billion on new prison construction in the period 1989-90, an increase of 73% compared to 1987-88, according to Corrections Compendium, a corrections research and information service.

The prison systems in all 50 states and the federal government participated in the study. The cost per bed ranged from $995 at a minimum-security facility in Alabama to $132,000 in the case of a medium/maximum security prison in Hawaii. The average cost per bed was $52,000, up 28% since 1987-88.

California led the states in prison construction spending, with $1.29 billion allocated to build 15,030 new prison beds. The survey also found that eight states have contracts with private firms to build and operate correctional facilities.

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