The Cost of Recidivism:

The high price states pay to incarcerate people for supervision violations

The Cost of Recidivism: The high price states pay to incarcerate people for supervision violations

States pay a high price for incarcerating people for supervision violations. Using data reported from 41 states, this infographic details national and state estimates on money spent to incarcerate people for supervision violations and revocations in 2021.

April 2023 | The Council of State Governments Justice Center

The Cost of Recidivism

The high price states pay to incarcerate people for supervision violations


Improving reentry outcomes for people on supervision can lower costs, reduce prison populations, and increase community safety.


Adjusting for the size of each state’s population, the cost of recidivism exceeded $40 per resident in 10 states.

 Rank and State Cost of Recidivism / State Population
1.  Wisconsin $72
2.  Vermont $61
3.  Arkansas $58
4.  Virginia $57
5.  Wyoming $53
6.  Idaho $51
7.  Louisiana $50
8.  California $49
9.  South Dakota $44
10. Utah $41


State Cost of Recidivism
(Dollars in 2021)
Arizona 226,345,172
Arkansas 175,858,040
California 1,924,810,316
Colorado ii 150,436,575
Delaware iii 17,580,794
Florida 313,267,794
Georgia 201,117,694
Hawaii 56,106,340
Idaho 94,109,337
Illinois a 159,012,177
Indiana 122,065,870
Iowa 103,857,914
Kansas 89,737,440
Louisiana 231,943,283
Massachusetts 14,900,490
Michigan a,ii 53,462,609
Minnesota ii 91,039,760
Mississippi 89,046,524
Missouri 229,107,463
Montana b,ii 33,558,892
Nevada b,ii 60,732,073
New Hampshire b,ii 2,066,630
New York a 435,556,369
North Carolina 323,353,719
North Dakota b,ii 26,133,599
Ohio b,ii 98,258,442
Oklahoma i 73,414,812
Oregon b,ii 70,497,677
Pennsylvania a 359,890,000
Rhode Island 29,827,920
South Carolina 70,483,143
South Dakota 39,338,861
Tennessee 39,842,360
Texas 585,526,120
Utah 134,181,891
Vermont 39,170,417
Virginia 496,861,933
Washington 241,855,789
West Virginia i 25,651,470
Wisconsin 426,157,181
Wyoming 31,091,375



Some states were not able to report on all of the different populations of people (parole & probation) who were incarcerated for supervision violations (technical violations and new offenses) in their data system. In these instances, states are flagged to indicate which data are missing.

a = Missing all data from probation
b = Missing some data from probation
i = Missing all data from parole
ii = Missing some data from parole
iii = State does not have parole

*The Council of State Governments Justice Center analyzed data provided by Departments of Corrections from 41 states to estimate the cost of incarcerating people for supervision violations, both at the state and national levels. Annual cost estimates were calculated by multiplying the daily population by the average daily cost by 365 days. These data included fixed and variable expenses such as maintenance, staffing, food, supplies, and health care services. It’s important to note that reductions in prison populations and recidivism may not necessarily translate into immediate savings or reinvestment opportunities due to fixed expenditures such as capital assets and staffing costs, which take time to adjust. However, over time, long-term expenditures related to staffing and decisions to close unnecessary units can increase the amount of savings for each state.

Project credits:

Writing: Marshall Clement and Dr. Jessica Saunders, CSG Justice Center

Research: Dr. Jessica Saunders, CSG Justice Center

Advising: Dr. Dion Clark and Dr. Nicole Jarrett, CSG Justice Center

Editing: Darby Baham, CSG Justice Center

Design: Justin Crawford, CSG Justice Center

Public Affairs: Kevin Dugan, CSG Justice Center

Web Development: Catherine Allary, CSG Justice Center

This project was supported by Arnold Ventures and produced in partnership with the Correctional Leaders Association.

About the author

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Deputy Director
Marshall Clement provides strategic leadership across the breadth of the CSG Justice Center’s policy and programmatic work to increase public safety and strengthen communities. Previously, Marshall served as the organization’s director of the State Initiatives Division. Over a 13-year tenure
at the CSG Justice Center, Marshall led the growth and evolution of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative program, which assists policymakers seeking to reduce spending on corrections and reinvest savings in strategies that lower recidivism rates and increase public safety. As part of this process, Marshall coordinated the work of a team of policy analysts and national experts to analyze corrections data and policy and develop policy options for policymakers in 27 states. He regularly facilitated meetings among judicial and state agency officials and testified before legislative committees in various states across the country; his findings have been used to inform policy initiatives that have enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support. Marshall received his BA in public policy with honors from Brown University.
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  • Image for:
    Director, Research
    Dr. Jessica Saunders oversees the Research Division at the CSG Justice Center. She has more than 20 years of experience supporting effective and equitable criminal justice administration through rigorous research, including identifying best practices and addressing systemic racial bias. Her
    research spans the criminal justice system continuum, from school-based delinquency preventive interventions to reentry and system-wide performance metrics. She has been a principal or co-principal investigator on over $25 million in competitive research grants and contracts and has published over 50 scientific articles, books, and technical reports. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, she was a policy researcher at RAND Corporation and an assistant professor at Arizona State University. Jessica received her PhD in criminal justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
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