Alabama has one of the highest incarceration rates in the US but
manages to spend about a third of what the rest of the country spends
to keep an inmate behind bars. Learn more about county jails in Alabama
by reading exclusive interviews from ex-inmates.
The average cost to incarcerate an inmate in the US is about
$30,000 per year. In Alabama they spend just over $9,000 per
inmate. A big part of the reason for the disparity in costs is that
Alabama did not plan in the boom in incarcerations that it has
experienced over the past few years. Over the past thirty years alone
the inmate population in Alabama has increased a staggering 600%!
One distinction that blurs the lines is the cost of a state inmate
versus a community (or county) inmate. In general inmates in county
jails are much less expensive. They are usually serving time for less
serious crimes so the security level does not need to be quite as high
(most people won't risk new charges for escape when they are serving
less than a year).
A state inmate costs around $25 per day to house while a county inmate
only costs around $10. When they are out on probation or parole the
state only foots a bill of about $2 per parolee per day.
Tough on crime
Alabama is very serious about crime and has imposed harsh
minimum-mandatories to cope with an escalating drug problem. This has
created overcrowding problems because many inmates end up with harsh
sentences that cannot legally be reduced.
If you or somebody you know is facing a criminal charge in Alabama you
should first find a competent attorney to make sure you receive the
best representation possible. If the charge results in a conviction and
you would like to learn more about what life inside of an Alabama
county jail is really like CountyJail.net has the information you need
from exclusive interviews with former inmates.