After Decades Of Increases, Prison Spending Declines

Print reports that the recession is taking its toll on what had been one of the fastest-growing areas of state government spending: prisons. Twenty-three of 33 states that responded said they reduced prison funding this year, according to a new survey by the Vera Institute of Justice, a research organization based in New York.

Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska and Washington cut funding for corrections by more than 10 percent from last year's levels, according to the study. Kansas had biggest decrease, 22 percent. At least seven states closed a prison facility last year. Corrections is the fifth-largest area of state spending after Medicaid, secondary education, higher education and transportation.

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