Corrections & Public Safety

 

Contains information on state prisons, parole system, law enforcement and courts. In fiscal year 2011, state spending for corrections accounted for 7.4 percent of general fund budgets. As the fourth largest expenditure category within state general funds, states will continue to identify savings and other efficiencies in corrections and public safety as a way to offset spending growth in other areas.

Staff Contact: Michael Streepey

NASBO Publications

  • The latest edition of NASBO’s State Expenditure Report finds that for the first time in the history of the State Expenditure Report total state spending declined in fiscal 2012, due to the combination of state funds slowly increasing and federal funds rapidly declining. It is estimated that expenditures returned to more typical growth levels in fiscal 2013 as both state and federal funds moderately increased.
  • State spending for corrections has risen steadily over the last three decades, outpacing the overall growth in state budgets. The state inmate population has grown as well, leading many states to direct more resources for prisons and incarceration, sometimes at the expense of other priorities.
  • After several years of slow recovery in the national economy, fiscal distress is finally beginning to subside for most states. However, the unemployment rate continues to remain high and the economic recovery is relatively weak compared to other post-recessionary periods. Thus, state operating budgets likely will be constrained by elevated expenditure pressures and slow revenue growth in the upcoming fiscal year.