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See also: Drug war charts and maps. And: cannabis arrests. And: Drug war causes high U.S. incarceration rate. And: People in prisons and jails in the USA for drug-related crime. And: Number of marijuana prisoners in the USA.. And:
Mass incarceration could be costing the United States over . Sam Stecklow. 17 Sept 2016. Fusion.
From the study abstract: "This study draws on a burgeoning area of scholarship to assign monetary values to twenty-two different costs, which yield an aggregate burden of one trillion dollars. This approaches 6% of gross domestic product and dwarfs the amount spent on corrections. For every dollar in corrections costs, incarceration generates an additional ten dollars in social costs."
|“We have an under-incarceration problem.” Senator Cotton. May 19, 2016. See: U.S. Drug War. Republicans lead. And: Life for pot.|
- Yes, We DO Give Life Sentences For Marijuana in the USA. By Cheri Sicard. June 16, 2014. Newt Gingrich wanted executions. Long mandatory minimum sentences are one factor in making the drug war so costly.
Some drug-war cost estimates
- Drug War Clock | DrugSense: "The U.S. federal government spent over $15 billion dollars in 2010 on the War on Drugs, ... State and local governments spent at least another 25 billion dollars." See sources there.
- Are We Addicted To Drug War Money? Common Sense for Drug Policy. Additional costs of the drug war. "The $5.9 billion drug testing industry should be replaced with impairment testing. Discovering marijuana use a week ago is as irrelevant as finding beer drinking a week ago."
- Economics | Drug War Facts.
|The majority of people incarcerated in prisons and jails in the USA are in due to drug-related offenses, crimes to get money for drugs, or drug-related parole or probation violations. Wikipedia: Drug-related crime. The number of inmates in the USA has increased almost 5 times over since 1980. It peaked in 2008. Obama's Democrat landslide in 2008 turned the incarceration rate around. But the USA still has the highest incarceration rate of any nation (b c). The cost of the U.S. drug war is at least 1.5 trillion dollars. Cannabis is safer! Share link.|
Cost of criminal justice system
- Mass incarceration doesn't do much to fight crime. But it costs an absurd $182 billion a year. By German Lopez. Jan. 27, 2017. Vox
State prisons averaged $31,286 per inmate in 2010. It ranged from $14,603 in Kentucky to $60,076 in New York.
Federal prisons averaged $30,619 per inmate in 2014.
"Spending on law-enforcement by states and local governments hit $212 billion in 2011, including judicial, police and corrections costs, according to the most recent estimates provided to the U.S. Census Bureau." - From Wall Street Journal article: As Arrest Records Rise, Americans Find Consequences Can Last a Lifetime. Aug. 18, 2014.
See this timeline graph to the right. Criminal justice system cost $228 billion total in 2007. $50 billion for judicial and legal costs. Plus $104 billion for police. Plus $74 billion for corrections.
In 2007, around $74 billion was spent on corrections alone according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics: Justice Expenditures and Employment, FY 1982-2007 - Statistical Tables. See PDF and table 2: "Total justice expenditures, by justice function, FY 1982–2007 (real dollars)". Table 2 is copied below.
| Table 2. Total justice expenditures, by justice function,|
fiscal year 1982–2007 (real dollars).
|Real dollars (inflation adjusted to 2007 constant dollars).|
|Expenditures (in millions)|
|Year||Total|| Judicial and |
| Police |
New York City pays $167,731 per year per prisoner
- NYC's yearly cost per inmate ($167,731) almost as expensive as 4-year Ivy League college tuition. . By Associated Press. 30 Sept 2013.
- War on drugs a trillion-dollar failure - CNN.com. By Richard Branson, Special to CNN, December 7, 2012.
Click the infographics to enlarge them.
|Cost of U.S. drug war. Even $1.5 trillion dollars is conservative since many crimes are committed in order to get money for drugs. State prisons averaged $31,268 per inmate in 2010. See: Drug war causes high U.S. incarceration rate. See: Economics - Drug War Facts. See: 32 Reasons Why We Need To End The War On Drugs - Business Insider. See: The Budgetary Impact of Ending Drug Prohibition.|
- Another chart below.
- Source of data: US War On Drugs Has Met None Of Its Goals: AP Impact. By Martha Mendoza. Posted 13 July 2010. Huffington Post.
USA. Direct expenditure by criminal justice function
Appendix Table 1. Total justice expenditures, 1982–2007. USA. Real (inflation adjusted to 2007), and nominal dollars (unadjusted). $228 billion in 2007. Police, corrections, courts. Year Nominal dollars
1982 $35,842 $84,129 1987 58,871 114,484 1992 93,777 154,912 1997 129,793 189,463 2002 179,580 227,672 2007 227,563 227,563 Justice Expenditures and Employment, FY 1982-2007. NCJ 236218. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).
*2010 state prison costs: The Price of Prisons: What Incarceration Costs Taxpayers. By the Vera Institute of Justice. "Total taxpayer cost per inmate. Among the 40 states surveyed, representing more than 1.2 million inmates (of 1.4 million total people incarcerated in all 50 state prison systems), the total per-inmate cost averaged $31,286 and ranged from $14,603 in Kentucky to $60,076 in New York (see Figure 4)."
Drug war costs versus education costs
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pointed out that, in 1980, 10 percent of his state’s budget went to higher education and 3 percent to prisons; in 2010, almost 11 percent went to prisons and only 7.5 percent to higher education. Maybe the increased tax burden on wealthy citizens necessary to pay for the war on drugs will help to bring about a reform of America’s drug policies.