Contact Us
Make My Homepage

New Jersey Jail Costs Are Sky-High [AUDIO]

In these difficult economic times, many New Jersey residents are voicing concern about the cost of incarcerating inmates and for good reason.

Jail Cell
Flickr User derekskey

“The cost to house an inmate for one year is $53,000,” says New Jersey Department of Corrections Spokesman Matt Schuman.

He points out there are 13 state prisons, with approximately 20,000 inmates, and if you include the folks in halfway houses and state sentenced county lock-ups, the number goes up to 23,000.

As far as the idea of the state trying to force inmates to cover some of the cost of their own incarceration, he says it’s been looked into before.

“That has been something that has been explored in the past, and it has never really gotten that much traction – from time to time that is something that comes up – if the Legislature enacts laws that would require inmates to have to pay their incarceration then we certainly would enforce them.”

Schuman says, in most cases, inmates are required to work, even if it’s just cleaning their own cells. But the amount of money they earn is well under $10 a day, and the state has no way to try to collect that money. The idea of work behind bars is to acquire both skills and a work ethic that will hopefully help them once their incarceration ends.

“The Legislature passes the laws and the judge hands down the sentences, and we do what the Legislature and the Judiciary determine,” says Schuman.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Best of NJ101.5

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for New Jersey Insiders quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive New Jersey Insiders contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.