Friday, November 15, 2013

I Haven't Heard that Tennessee Prisons are Awesome

Posted By on Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 5:30 AM

I just want to take a minute to highlight a point I made in passing yesterday. The State of Tennessee says it takes $25,000 a year to keep a person in prison for that year. That's the amount of money the state says it takes to adequately feed, shelter, and cloth a person in the state's custody.

Minimum wage in Tennessee is $7.50 an hour. If you can find a full-time minimum wage job, that's just over $15,000 per year. You'd have to be earning closer to $12 an hour to make an income equal to what the state considers adequate to take care of a prisoner.

If the state — which has the buying power of, well, you know, a whole state — needs $24,000 a year to meet the bare minimum needs of a person, how do our politicians think anyone in the state is supposed to make do with less?

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