9/20/2010

"Missouri Tells Judges Cost of Sentences"

This seems reasonable, but what other costs should the judges be told about? For example, if they are going to be told the cost of prison, shouldn't they also be told the expected loss of tax revenue from the person being imprisoned?

When judges here sentence convicted criminals, a new and unusual variable is available for them to consider: what a given punishment will cost the State of Missouri.

For someone convicted of endangering the welfare of a child, for instance, a judge might now learn that a three-year prison sentence would run more than $37,000 while probation would cost $6,770. A second-degree robber, a judge could be told, would carry a price tag of less than $9,000 for five years of intensive probation, but more than $50,000 for a comparable prison sentence and parole afterward. The bill for a murderer’s 30-year prison term: $504,690.

Legal experts say no other state systematically provides such information to judges, a practice put into effect here last month by the state’s sentencing advisory commission, an appointed board that offers guidance on criminal sentencing. . . .


For some reason I suspect that these are not the present discounted value of those costs. For the 30-year prison term, that is likely to make some difference.

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2 Comments:

Blogger JohnK said...

Interesting so see that, in Missouri, the most expensive incarceration costs about $17,000 per year.

Here in California, it's more like $50,000 per year.

9/20/2010 11:51 AM  
Blogger Rajesh said...

Interesting to see that people are actually analyzing the Cost Value proposition between keeping them alive or gassing them home :)

9/21/2010 11:18 AM  

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