Buildings Demography Environment GIS Information Policy Technology Transportation More subjects
Note: The Office of Geographic and Demographic Analysis is no longer a division of the Dept. of Administration. The work units which made up this division can be found on the left menu of this page. Resources found on the GDA website are being migrated to other domains.

Agency report
Paying the price: the rising cost of prison

Extent: 27 p., 1046K, PDF 2.0
Description: Examines policy options to a rising prison population
Date: March 1, 1996
Subject(s): Crime and criminals; Government spending
Creator(s): Minnesota Planning (Agency). Criminal Justice Statistics Center
Contributor: Ray Lewis
Publisher: Minnesota Planning (Agency)
Contact: Gail Carlson,

Spending for prisons nearly quadrupled from 1980 to 1996 and is projected in this report to increase another 45 percent to $234 million in 1999. The state's adult prison population doubled from 1986 to 1996 and also is estimated to grow 45 percent by 2005, reaching almost 6,700 inmates.

Policy options in responce to these trends include:

1) Continue to increase prison sentences and build more prisons.

2) Hold the line on increasing criminal penalties and delay the need for a new prison in 2005. Aggressively expand space at current prisons and acquire more space from county jails and other states.

3) Expand use of community-based penalties while holding the line on increasing criminal penalties, delaying the need for a new prison in 2005.

4) Adjust sentences of nonviolent offenders, saving 270 to 470 beds or more. Coupled with other actions, this could have the largest impact on the need for an additional prison.

5) Take strong actions to trim costs, such as contracting for private management, which would free up dollars but not beds.

6) Invest in prevention, reducing future but not near-term prison populations.

Viewing PDF Documents

Because of the complexity and size of some files, downloading may take substantial time and requires adequate system memory.  On a 56K modem, allow for approximately 4 minutes per megabyte while downloading.

To view Adobe PDF documents you will need free software available from  Visually impaired users can download free software from  If you have trouble with our PDF files, please see web help.

PDFs may open either "fit to window" or actual size.  You may adjust this display option with your browser to see detail, or to see the entire item.

To save PDF files, right click on link and select appropriate option.

Technical problems? Contact: