Colorado Ranks Sixth for Corrections Spending

Since 1987, corrections spending in Colorado has grown 338 percent, the sixth greatest increase in the nation, according to an economic think tank.The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization, released data today showing that there is a considerable fiscal strain on states to pay corrections costs.

Idaho topped the list, with corrections spending up by 416 percent between 1987 to 2007. Colorado was sixth with 338 percent, beating out more populous states like Florida and California.

The economic data shows that spending on corrections outpaced that for higher education in every state except Alabama and Virginia.

State spending on higher education has increased 21 percent throughout the country, the study found, while corrections spending has more than doubled, increasing nationally by 127 percent.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.

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