mother jones offers a quick breakdown of estimated annual costs per inmate in california prisons. source data come from the bureau of justice statistics, the california department of corrections and rehabilitation, and the national association of state budget officers.
i collapsed some of the smaller categories, but a more detailed table is available online. a big chunk of the annual $49k is clearly tied up in security (mostly personnel, i’m sure, rather than hardware) and another large piece of the pie in medical and psychiatric costs. hmmm. it might be instructive to compare this annualized per person cost breakdown with that of other institutions, such as military, health care, or educational institutions.