Posted on December 17, 2018

CBO: Criminal Justice Bill Would Reduce Federal Prison Population, Increase Spending

Marianne Levine, Politico, December 14, 2018

The Senate’s criminal justice reform bill would reduce the federal prison population over a 10 year period by 53,000 “person-years,” which is roughly equivalent to releasing 53,000 inmates in one year, according to an estimate released Friday from the Congressional Budget Office.

In addition, CBO predicted that the faster release of inmates would increase the number of people benefiting from federal programs, like Medicaid and Social Security, since inmates are generally ineligible for many federal assistance programs while serving time. That would increase direct federal government spending by $346 million and reduce revenue by $6 million, also from 2019 through 2028, CBO said.


The bill reduces some mandatory minimum sentences and expands some inmate programs.