While parts of the justice system have been starved of sufficient support to meet the demands placed on them, others have become swollen with government cash, and become an increasing burden on government budgets. The states spent $44 billion on incarcerating prisoners in 2007, more than double what they spent in 1987. This explosion in prison spending has severely weighed down state and federal budgets, forcing legislators to decide between cutting other important programs or raising taxes – and, all too often, it has led to cuts in government investment.
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