Prison Is Expensive
Prison is extremely expensive - during 2003-2004, it cost an average of £27,320 per year to keep someone in prison. Furthermore, to build a new prison costs the equivalent of 2 district hospitals or 60 primary schools. But one must also factor in the cost of crime, which is frequently ignored by many media organisations and pressure groups.
The Home Office has warned that the prison population could increase by more 37,000 by the end of the decade. If the predictions are correct income tax would need to increase by two and a half pence to cover the £3.5 billion cost.
However, the cost of crime is considerably more and could easily absorb this increase in tax.
In 2000, The Home Office estimated the cost of crime at £60bn. Taking inflation into account, it's £3,000 pa for every household. Considering the average wage is only £18,961 (median) or £23,400 (mean), that accounts for a 16 pence (median) or 13 pence (mean) increase in income tax.
So if one takes a purely economic perspective, prisons are not as expensive as crime.