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

  • 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.
  • The latest edition of NASBO’s State Expenditure Report finds that the recent improvement in the national economy has not translated to strong growth in total state spending. This is largely due to the fact that state revenues have not increased as fast as Recovery Act funds have declined, leading to a unique situation in which total state expenditure growth has slowed during the same time that the national economy has been improving.