Justice System Spending

"In 2003 the United States spent a record $185 billion for police protection, corrections, and judicial and legal activities. Expenditures for operating the Nation's justice system increased from almost $36 billion in 1982 to over $185 billion in 2003, an increase of 418%.
"Local governments funded half of all justice system expenses. Another 33% of direct justice funding came from the States.
"Total justice expenditures comprised approximately 7.2% of all State and local public expenditures in 2003. Compared to justice expenditures, State and local governments continued to spend almost 4 times as much on education, twice as much on public welfare, and roughly an equal amount on hospitals and healthcare."

Source: 

Kristen A. Hughes, "Justice Expenditure and Employment in the United States, 2003" (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, May 2004), NCJ212260, p. 1.
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub...

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