Public Safety, Public Spending

Forecasting America's Prison Population 2007–2011

quick summary

This February 2007 report was the first known attempt to determine the future growth of the nation's state and federal prison systems as a whole, along with the projected cost of that growth. Its findings showed that America's prison population would continue its extraordinary growth in the coming years, with more than 192,000 prisoners added by 2011. This growth would carry a heavy fiscal burden, estimated at up to $125 billion in new prison construction and $15 billion in operations costs.

This report was prepared for the Public Safety Performance Project by the JFA Institute, a well-respected, Washington-based, nonprofit consulting firm. JFA conducts prison population forecasts under contract with a number of states, and several other states use JFA's software to make their projections.

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Christina Zurla

Manager, Communications