News Bite

Michigan prison stays cost $48K per year; here’s how that breaks down

One-fifth of the cost of a prison stay is health care and mental health, per the Michigan Department of Corrections

On average, it costs Michigan $48,000 per year, per prisoner, to keep some 32,778 people incarcerated (as of June 16). Here’s how those costs break down, per the Michigan Department of Corrections.

  • 70%: Facilities, staffing, utility payments, supply and operational costs
  • 20%: Health care and mental health
  • 5%: Food service
  • 1-2%: Education
  • 1-2%: Transportation

Those costs are tallied for each facility. The total is divided by the number of total prisoner days to arrive at a daily rate. This number varies widely from facility to facility, from $99.95 per day at central Michigan to $313.83 at Woodland Center Correctional Facility, a Livingston County site that provide the state’s mental health programs for prisoners.

Michigan has another 42,000 people, roughly, on probation (33,0091) and parole (9,170) supervision. Supervision costs about $5,000 per year, per person.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.