AN ANALYSIS OF COSTS BY SIZE OF JAIL FOR SELECTED COUNTIES IN IOWA

Officials from eight counties selected according to jail size were interviewed. Parameters from site visits were used to estimate jail costs. The jails selected ranged in capacity from 5 to 41 prisoners. In addition, costs from the sample of local jails were compared to costs from studies of larger jails and state prisons. Jails with 5 to 41 bed capacity exhibited a U-shaped cost curve. Jail costs varied from a low of $35.20 per prisoner day for the 10 bed jail to $56.63 per prisoner day for the 40 bed jail. Therefore, costs vary by $21.43 per prisoner day for the sample of local jails examined in this study. The threshold economies of size achieved by smaller jails is due primarily to the shared staffing systems, a high degree of integration between jail functions and law enforcement / communications dispatcher functions, and variation in square footage of space per inmate.


Subject(s):
Issue Date:
1997
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/18275
Total Pages:
24
Series Statement:
Staff Paper 289




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-04

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