US prisons cost government $7.3 billion a year: Report

A new congressional report shows that it costs the US government more than $7 billion a year to operate federal prisons.

In fiscal year 2014, the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) operating costs totaled nearly $7.3 billion, an increase of about $2.3 billion from fiscal year 2004, a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said Friday.

Furthermore, the BOP’s debts in fiscal year 2014 accounted for about 19 percent of the US Department of Justice’s total obligations, the GAO report said.

The BOP is a federal law enforcement agency and a subdivision of the US Department of Justice. The GAO is an independent agency which provides audit, evaluation, and investigative services to the US Congress.

“The federal inmate population has increased more than eight-fold since 1980,” the report said.


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