Tag Archives: state budgets

You gotta have a lot of prisoners to save money this way

A special state indeed. Texas is going to cut costs in its prison system by:

  • Texas ended the decades-old practice of serving last meals to inmates about to be executed after one man ordered an elaborate feast of hamburgers, pizza and chicken-fried steaks that he did not eat. (Well, that alone must have saved hundreds of dollars!)
  • Most states serve their inmates milk in cartons, but Texas prison officials said switching to powdered milk would save them an estimated $3.5 million annually.
  • Thousands of other inmates in the Texas prison system have been eating fewer meals since April after officials stopped serving lunch on the weekends in some prisons as a way to cut food-service costs.

In the US, two million people are in state prisons alone. In 2010, 225,000 of them were in Texas, or 1 in 100 residents. They built 174 new state prisons between 1979 and 2000, a 706% increase. (Texas has cut its prisoner growth rate in the last few years, but still holds the lead.)

Wonder how many of those prisons are private for-profit?