The financial, relational, and societal costs of prison are staggering.
There are more than 155,000 federal inmates in the United States prison system. The average cost-per-inmate in the United States is $36,299 per year, resulting in more than $5.6 billion in costs per year. Furthermore, almost 44% of criminals released return before the first year out of prison.
In addition to this recidivism rate, the effect of having a parent in prison has a cost on the next generation as well. Children of incarcerated parents are, on average, six times more likely to become incarcerated themselves.