8 August 2018
[FYI request #8427 email]
Dear BAW Russell
On behalf of Gabriel Makhlouf, Secretary to the Treasury, I acknowledge receipt of
your email requesting:
“… any information you have on the full cost to the government of sending a
person to prison. A figure of around $100,000 per prisoner per annum is
sometimes cited, but this is simply the corrections prison budget divided by the
number of prisoners. It does not take into account, for instance, police or courts
costs, or savings from, for instance, reductions in crime, ceasing benefit
payments or reduced future superannuation payments due to the reduction in life
expectancy associated with imprisonment. I am interested in the average net cost
to government of a year of imprisonment. As well as a total I would like the total
broken down to indicate which parts of government bear these costs.
Please also provide any similar information covering the cost to society more
broadly (i.e. including costs not borne by the government).
If you do not have this information I also request any information on how
adequate cost-benefit analyses have been undertaken on proposed changes to
the prison system, and any proposals or plans to address this gap.”
Your request was received by the Treasury on 3 August 2018 and will be dealt with in
accordance with the provisions of the Official Information Act.
The Treasury may need to contact you to clarify your request. To facilitate this, and to
confirm your eligibility to make a request under section 12 of the Official Information
Act, would you please reply giving your personal email and postal address.
The Treasury will not publish your personal contact details or use the information for
any reason other than processing your request. The personal information you provide
will be subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act 1993 and the Official Information