The Human & Tax Payer Cost of Mass Incarceration
There are over three dozen correctional institutions in the state of Virginia, men and women's combined. I am uncertain of the number of offenders housed in other facilities. I am certain that this facility houses a total of twelve-hundred women at all times. There is no reason I should be experiencing a headache of this intensity due to the sweltering heat in this wing! It is now 2:16 p.m., and the temperature is currently 77.8 degrees. This wing houses approximately sixty-five women. We have one big fan circulating what little air we have. If my statistics are incorrect, I do apologize. However, I was informed that the state of Virginia gains $27,000 to house each offender incarcerated annually. Once again, I apologize if this information is inaccurate. But, if it is accurate, by my calculations, to house twelve-hundred offenders in this institution alone, is equal to $324,000 annually! What about those of us with lengthy sentences, or who will remain incarcerated for the rest of their lives? How much money is this equivalent to? And those numbers only stand for Fluvanna Correctional Institution for Women. How much money is the state of Virginia receiving for all facilities combined? A staggering amount! In conducting my own research and calculations, if all twelve-hundred of us in this facility alone spent the total allowed amount on commissary, which is $125.00 weekly; annually this equals a ridiculous $7,200,000! Even if this amount is not spent annually on commissary, it is spent on other institutional costs, so, regardless of what it is spent on, the state most definitely receives their fair share! So, why is it that we are forced to suffer and endure this unbearable heat, while it is cool in the vestibule area and office where authorities work? For $324,000 annually here in FCCW, why do we not have well functioning air conditioning units? I, as well as many others I am certain, are curious to know where all this money goes. What politician is enjoying central air conditioning while we sweat?"