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.

Incarceration costs
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 has the information you need from exclusive interviews with former inmates.

Alabama Jails