Inmate Population In Pa Growing

02.18.14 | Sarah Harnisch

Decades of rapid growth in the inmate population at the state correctional institutions appear to be ending, but state officials still seek more money next year to run the system. The 2014-15 budget proposed by Governor Tom Corbett calls for $77 million more, a 4 percent increase, to operate the corrections system. Most of that extra spending will go for salaries and benefits for employees. All told, the state will spend $2 billion next year on corrections. The corrections system includes the 26 correctional institutions, 56 state-operated or contracted community corrections centers and a motivational boot camp. According to budget documents, the combined population of these as of last December was 51,512 inmates while estimates suggest a smaller number of 50,175 inmates next December.