Where Does $49,000 for Each Inmate Go?

California spends four times as much per prisoner as Mississippi. Where does the money go?

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California spends around $49,000 annually per adult inmate, nearly 4 times Mississippi, which spends $13,300. Where does the money go? A partial breakdown:

Security

$20,429

Medical services

$7,669

Parole operations

$4,436

Facility operations

$3,938

Administration

$2,871

Psychiatric services

$1,403

Food

$1,377

Education

$687

Records

$513

Vocational education

$289

Inmate welfare fund

$282

Clothing

$152

Religion

$53

Activities

$23

Library

$23

Transportation

$15

Sources: Bureau of Justice Statistics; California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; National Association of State Budget Officers

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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