Are we on the verge of financial self-destruction?
At a time when most senior citizens probably have to get by with an annual income of less than $40,000, we are told that is about how much it costs to incarcerate prisoners in most states. However, that amount pales compared to what it costs to house people in mental health facilities.
When I first read that we taxpayers have to come up with $560 every day ($200,004 a year) to provide for each patient at Western State Hospital (TNT, 10-3), I thought I was reading a printing error. I was absolutely dumbfounded when I learned that it was true.
If prison inmates can be provided with food, health care, legal advice, psychological counseling, exercise facilities and conjugal visits for $40,000 a year, why are we paying $200,000 plus a year for every person at Western State?