irginia jurors in 2017 requested 132 years of prison for a man who stole car tires. The jurors may have been unaware that taxpayers could pay more than $25,000 a year to keep someone incarcerated—so by proposing their sentence, they were also suggesting that society fork over $3 million. For tires.
…Americans pay tens of billions of dollars a year for state prisons, despite declining crime rates. But historically, prosecutors and judges haven’t had to think about these hefty costs.
…Tallying the price of sentences seemed sensible to him, especially because he knew prison wasn’t just expensive, but also likely to increase a person’s chances of committing more crimes later.