The Cost of Corrections in Colorado

How much does it cost to keep an inmate in a Colorado correctional facility each day?  The answers — contained in a Colorado Department of Corrections publication Cost Per Offender by Facilitymay surprise you.  Currently, the cost of housing a single inmate ranges between $53 and $224 per day, depending on the level of security at the facility.  This amounts to a cost of anywhere from $19,000 to $81,000 per inmate per year.  The costliest facility in Colorado is San Carlos; the least expensive are the community corrections programs.  A comparison with the numbers from ten years ago shows a sharp rise in costs, from around $3,000 per inmate per year/$10 per inmate per day for community corrections to about $61,000 per inmate per year/$167 per inmate per day for San Carlos.

This annual publication offers a basic summary; for more in-depth information on Colorado’s correctional populations see the DOC’s annual Statistical ReportFor budgetary information, see the DOC’s annual Budget Request.