Report: Prison health-care costs stabilize
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — States are spending slightly less on prisoner health care after nearly a decade of steady increases, according to a report released Tuesday.
The report from the Pew Charitable Trusts found that in most states, prison health care spending peaked at $8.2 billion in 2009 after nearly a decade of dramatic increases. But by 2011 that total had dropped slightly to $7.7 billion, partly because prison populations decreased.
“How states manage health care in prisons affects not only inmates’ well-being but also public safety and taxpayers’ total corrections bill,” said Maria Schiff, director of the Pew project.
Schiff said the researchers identified four ways the states could further reduce those costs, including Medicaid expansion, strategic use of telehealth services, effective management of private health care contracts and granting elderly or infirm inmates early parole when appropriate.