K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Managing Corrections Costs

National Conference of State Legislators:

States will spend $40 billion to incarcerate and supervise offenders in fiscal year (FY) 2014, according to the National Confer- ence of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) State Budget Actions: FY 2013 & 2014. This is a modest 2.5 percent increase over FY 2013 costs, with cor- rections a shrinking portion of overall state spending. In a growing number of states, legisla- tures have enacted policy shifts that make more effective use of corrections dollars but that also remain attentive to public safety.

Forty states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico budgeted more in general funds for correc- tions in FY 2014 than in the previous fiscal year (Figure 1, on page 4). Only six states—Con- necticut, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota and Oklahoma—and Puerto Rico in- 40 creased spending by more than 5 percent. Nine states—Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, 35 New Mexico, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia and 30 Wyoming—budgeted to spend less in the cur- rent fiscal year. Decreases range from .2 percent 25 in New Mexico to 8.4 percent in Wyoming. 20 Spending in New Jersey remains unchanged.