skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 75812 Find in a Library
Title: Paying the Penalty - An Analysis of the Cost of Penal Sanctions
Author(s): S Shaw
Corporate Author: National Assoc for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO)
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 95
Sponsoring Agency: National Assoc for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO)
London, SW9 0PU
Sale Source: National Assoc for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO)
169 Clapham Road
United Kingdom
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This report present a comprehensive account of the costs of penal measures in Great Britain.
Abstract: It aims to illustrate the different costs of a variety of penal sanctions, especially prison. Other goals are to draw attention to gaps in available information, to assess future expenditure trends, and to demonstrate the importance of indirect costs in addition to the more obvious direct costs of particular measures. Comparisons between expenditure provisions for prisons and other public services and an analysis of the state of prison buildings and the pressure on accommodation are reviewed. Prison spending is shown to have expanded considerably faster than that for most services; however, this growth has not prevented the decay and overcrowding of many of the prisons. In fact, increases in spending have contributed to the crisis by encouraging a proportionate increase in the use of custodial sanctions. An analysis of the prison budget demonstrates that only a substantial reduction in the prison population can reverse the trend of expenditure increases. Differences in expenditure between various types of prison establishments are detailed, and the vast cost of new prison projects is demonstrated. The direct cost of noncustodial sanctions also receives attention. Fines are shown to pay for the whole system of magistrates' courts, and noncustodial sanctions are revealed to be cheaper than sentences of imprisonment. Two categories of indirect costs are considered. Expenditures which are funded from nonprison budgets include such costs as social security payments to prisoners' wives. Opportunity costs resulting from resource direction to one end rather than another include a prisoner's loss of productive labor. Case studies illustrate the costs of particular sanctions. Data tables, charts, graphs, footnotes with references, and a bibliography listing about 75 references are included.
Index Term(s): Correctional facilities; Corrections management; Corrections statistics; Cost/Benefit Analysis; Costs; Great Britain/United Kingdom
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.