As Prison Spending Rises, Lawmakers Look for an Explanation

The number of people currently serving sentences in Colorado prisons after being convicted of a felony is about the same as it was in 2004. However, the amount of money the state is spending on its prisons has risen about $150 million since that time, a much larger increase than experts would have predicted given the stable size of the population of those living in state prisons. Now, Colorado legislators want to know why the number of dollars has increased when the number of people serving sentences has not – and what they can do about it.

Prison officials attribute part of the costs to inflation of fixed expenses, like utilities, which they cannot control – the lights must stay on in certain parts of the prison at all times, those living in the prison will always need water and sewer services, and so on. Medical costs for both prisoners and staff have also gone up. However, with changes in sentencing and an increase in alternative programs that keep people out of prison, Colorado is considering closing at least one prison entirely.

If you have been charged with a crime in Colorado, you would be well advised to contact a knowledgeable Colorado criminal defense attorney who will fight to protect your rights. At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., we are committed to protecting the rights of each and every client, as well as to seek the best possible outcome in court. For a free and confidential consultation, call us today at (719) 475-2555.

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