Costs spiral for prison measures

| Print |  Email
Monday, September 01, 2008

STATEWIDE A state analysis of the two criminal justice measures competing for votes this November estimates prison costs to be even higher than anticipated. The forecast predicts that the cheaper of the two alternatives, Measure 57, would cost $1.1 billion over the next decade, while the more costly version, Measure 61, would cost up to $2.2 billion.

The main difference between the price tags is the cost of building prisons. Measure 57 would require about $500 million for borrowing money to build prisons and paying that money back over 25 years, with interest. Measure 61 would put up to four times as much money, or $2 billion over, into building new prisons, according to the state analysis.

Because neither identifies a funding source, the measures would be funded through Oregon’s general fund. That is likely to be the point of contention as the election approaches, because Oregon already spends a larger percentage of its general fund on corrections than any other state, according to a February 2008 report by Pew’s Center on the States.

Oregon expanded its prison system substantially in the 1990s, building new prisons in remote locations from Ontario to Lakeview to Madras. The prisons were often touted as drivers of rural economic development, but several studies have disproved that claim (see “Prisontown Myth” in the April 2008 issue of Oregon Business).

The state’s 13,600 inmates are housed in 14 facilities. The Oregon Department of Corrections has plans for prisons in White City and Junction City, but will have to adjust for thousands of new inmates if either measure passes. If both pass, the one with the most votes will become law.

BEN JACKLET


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Downtime with the president of NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson

March 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Live, Work, Play: Catching up with Chris Johnson.


Read more...

4 winners and losers in the Kitzhaber scandal

The Latest
Thursday, February 12, 2015
021315-govorno-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Examining the governor's rapid fall from grace in a "bizarre" and "unprecedented" saga.


Read more...

MBA Perspective

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

Robin Anderson, dean of the Pamplin School of Business, University of Portland: "You need people who are comfortable leading in ambiguity."


Read more...

Light Moves

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Fittingly, Light at Play — a business whose sole purpose is to create mesmerizing ambience — was conceived at Burning Man.


Read more...

Imperial Palate

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Power Lunch at the Imperial.


Read more...

7 industry trends of 2015

The Latest
Friday, January 09, 2015
covertrends15-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Industry groups identify top trends for 2015.


Read more...

Help Wanted: Poached Jobs aids restaurateurs

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

“We thought there was room for something new.”


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS