Population members and staff are certainly affected by the inhumane conditions inside US prisons. Families are affected due to the stress of worrying for their loved ones and the cost of staying connected and supporting their loved one's basic needs. But what about the general public? Are they affected? Texas Prisons Community Advocates believes that they are. Why should they care? Society at large MUST understand that what happens behind prison fences doesn't stay behind those fences.
"The Bureau of Justice Statistics reckons that the United States spends more than $80 billion each year to keep roughly 2.3 million people behind bars. Many experts say that figure is a gross underestimate, though, because it leaves out myriad hidden costs that are often borne by prisoners and their loved ones, with women overwhelmingly shouldering the financial burden."
The Marshall Project
"The $80 billion spent annually on corrections has been cited as the cost of incarceration (DeVuono-Powell,Schweidler, Walters,& Zohrabi, 2015). However, a growing body of research suggests the true cost of incarceration far exceeds the amount spent on corrections (Pager, 2007; The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2010; Wakefield & Wildeman, 2014; Western, 2006). This is because corrections spending ignores costs borne by incarcerated persons, families, children, and communities. Examples of these social costs are the foregone wages
of incarcerated persons, increased infant mortality, and increased criminality of children with incarcerated parents. While
these costs do not appear on government budgets, they reduce the aggregate welfare of society and should be considered when
creating public policy."
Institute for Justice Research and Development
"The downstream effects (of poor health)— for both incarcerated people and the general public — have been disastrous: Mass incarceration has shortened the overall U.S. life expectancy by 5 years."
Prison Policy Initiative