Where does the money Part 2
Where does the money Part 2

Where does the money Part 2

Everyone wants to know where the money go?

I have received numerous amounts of comments about asking me to write another article about “Where does the money go”?  Doing my research I have more questions than I do answers. I have discovered that there is more money coming in besides the Government money and I still don’t know where the money goes. I know what the money is alligated for but I know it doesn’t go into those programs and services.

Bureau of Statistics

The Bureau of Statistics is a little behind in the data by about a year and a half. However, you can still get a pretty good idea of how much money the Governors are asking for each year to house inmates in prisons. California says since COVID their budget for 2022-2023 was 61.5 million and they had closed 3 prisons because they could not afford them. That’s roughly $132,806 per inmate a year. Why so much? Well, they explain that the medical care for inmates has gone up and they need twice the amount of staff due to illness. In other states, the average is $ 47,771 per inmate, except Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana with $18,000 per inmate. Those three states have the lowest amount because of wages. California, New York, and Massachusetts are the highest because of wages. So the amount that Governors ask for is somewhere between $18,000 to $132,806 per inmate. Which is 61.5 million the highest amount per year.

The population of inmates:

Since 2022 the US population was 1,230,100 year end had increased 2% from 2021. The number of females in state and federal prisons 5% from 2021 to 83,700, to year end 87,800 by year end of 2022. Nine states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons 1,000 persons from year-end 2021 to year-end 2022. State Correctional authorities had jurisdiction over 1,039,509 persons sentenced to at least 1 year in prison in 2022. While the Bureau of Prisons had legal jurisdiction authority over 146,100 persons with similar sentences.

Releasing of Inmates:

Some states are trying to reduce the amount of inmates that they do have to cut down on the cost. California closed 3 prisons. Oregon has an 819 bill that allows some inmates to apply for that for early release and their past Governor released several inmates before she left office. However, some Southern Governors don’t believe that their inmates should be released. The answer for them is to build more prisons for over crowding and over populated jails and prisons.

More Money:

In my research I discovered that 35 states have a “pay-to -stay” program. Which means that inmates are paying to stay in prison. This money usually comes out of their commissary money (off their books) before they can order food or hygiene from the commissary. Now, this is if they can afford it. It can say something like”utilities” when they get their print out. The amount can be anywhere from $12.00 to $100. 00 In Washington State they charge $100. oo per day for an inmate to stay in prison. That is an outrageous amount of money. In Illinois a man was charged $20,000 for his stay in prison on a drug charge. He had a lawsuit for something not pertaining to his drug charge and the state of Illinois demanded that he turn relinquish that money to them for his “pay-to-stay” to pay for his $20,000. Now that is an extreme case.


Inmates are required to buy clothing, a blanket, toilet and a towel. If an inmate wants more clothing, better food, hygiene and bedding they need to buy it from the commissary and/or the fundraisers.  I know some states do fundraisers to help pay for bedding, sheets and pillows. They have a $4.00 co pay to see medical.


Inmates can work on or off prison grounds. However, the wages that they make is usually $.45 -$.85 per hour. There are a few that make minium wage off grounds but that doesn’t happen to often. Their pay can range from $77.00 -$250.00 per month or more depending on the job. Not much money at all. They are working like slaves did and they still have to pay for these things that can not afford.

Gate Fee:

I’m sure this called other things in other states, but this is money saved for inmates when they are released. This money that they have earned from their job or they have removed from their books until the amount has reached. This fee can be $250.00-$500.00 depending on what state you are in. It sits in an account and on the day you’re released the prison gives you a credit card that has your money on it. It is for you to buy clothes, food and necessities.

The Food and Fundraisers:

I have learned from the inmates that the food comes from people that own companies that have to due a bidding for their company to supply the food to the prisons. If you know someone who works in their central offices, a lot of the times you win that bid. Now, the food used to say” NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION”. Now the food says” FOR INMATES ONLY”. Some jails don’t feed holidays meals, I don’t know why, they have the money for it. When the prisons do fundraisers for bedding, blankets and pillows or clothing they charger $15.00 for a hamburger, $7.00 for a large french fire $5.00 a soda. $25.00 for a pizza and soda and cookie. I’m sorry but that is ridiculous. Families are already spending so much money on phone calls, emails, money on books, and visits. I know we did it for my son.


The money is also supposed to go for staffing. This doesn’t happen. When you do not have enough staff to cover all your shifts, inmates get locked  down for a day to weeks at a time. I have been told when inmates get locked for a week and you let them out it’s like lions fighting each other, because they haven’t had any way to work out, or move around. The cells are very small, I think they said like 10×11 at the most and you have 2 people in their at a time. That’s very small. Not letting someone out for a couple days is very dangerous and putting people’s lives in danger. Why isn’t more hiring being done? Wages is one of the biggest reasons. Ask yourself do you want to put your life in harms for minimum wage? Ok, yes they have benefits, but you can go clean up the side of the freeway for the same amount of money and benefits and not be in danger, well  not as much danger.

The big question:

I don’t know where the money goes. Now that I have discovered there is  more money. I know that the government money is for food and clothing, and bedding. It is also supposed to go for classes, mental health, health care, re-entry programs, job training and programs. Does it go these services? Well, I can tell you in Arizona they only give you classes and programs right before you’re released. They do not believe in letting an inmate working and programming at the same time. I don’t know why. To me the busier you are the less time you have to get into trouble, drugs or fights. In Oregon, you can work and program a the same time. I know there are college courses like Blackstone that will let you take their college courses from prison. However you have to be a sponsor for them and they have to pay for you to take their courses.

On the trail of the money:

Wardens get paid very well. Starting salary for wardens is $100,000 per year is low end base pay.Some wardens are making $230,000 per year or more.  Their salary can be  more depending on education, experience and duties. Wardens get a yearly bonus of  $16,000.00 -$20,000.00. Not sure what this bonus is for. Wardens have total control over what happens inside their prison. I’m on the trail to figure out where the money goes, but it’s a long trail and I may not find the answers.

If you have a story or comment I would love to hear from you. I love and appreciate all the positive comments.  Check the comments I do respond. Until next time.




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