Taking a look at how states have spent money on corrections over nearly three decades, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics said this week that total spending increased each year from 1982 to 2001, but then started fluctuating, falling 5.6 percent between 2009 and 2010 to 48.5 billion. At one time, 1986, 12 states were spending 20 budgets or more of their budgets on corrections. By 2010, that was not true in any state, and 42 states were spending 5 percent or less on corrections, BJS said.
Corrections spending never has reached anywhere near the totals of other major public funding categories. For example, in 2010, states were spending more thqan $100 billion on highways and health/hospitals, more than $460 billion on welfare on welfare, and $571 billion on education. The report compiled prison medial spending, noting that California's nearly doubled to $2 billion between 2001 and 2008 and most other states recorded big increases, topped by North Carolina's 271 percent increase, Oregon's 320% percent and New Hampshire's 372 percent.