Spain spends 3 million euros a day on prisions

That works out to be €54 a prisoner, according a new study. And that’s not including the catalanes, who run their own prisons.

There are some 57,000 people behind bars in Spain’s 68 prisons, excluding the ones in Catalonia, as Barcelona runs its own prison service. This year, the Budget has assigned some 1,150 million euros to the Service, of which 808 million euros goes on staff costs.

Feeding the human herd costs the State 78 million euros a year, or €1,371 per prisoner per year. The state aims to spend €3,65 a day feeding the jailbirds, with the exception of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, the New Year, and the La Merced festival (patron saint of prisoners, on the 24th of September) when the daily budget goes up to €7,30. What are they getting on those days, gambas de garrucha?

The state is obliged to feed each prisoner three meals a day: brekkies, lunch and dinner, the last two being comprised of three courses (hot starter, main course and pud).

A further 64,5 million euros, or the equivalent of €3 a day per person, goes on the health of the prisoners, which includes medical assistance and treatment for conditions, including AIDS retrovirals. A sick prisoner on long term medical treatment costs the State about €6,000 more a year than a healthy one. Three thirds of that money goes on buying medication.

A 2011 study said that out of the €49 a month spent on average treating those with chronic medical problems, €36 went on retrovirals (Aids), €8 went on mental health drugs, €4 on hepatitis C, and just €0,34 on vaccinations.

A further 44 million euros, or about €770 a year (€2 a day), goes on the utility bills – heating, a/c, electricity, etc. But water costs just €9 million a year, or about 50 cents a day per person.

The study from the prison workers union (source) came after Holland announced a new law to charge prisoners €16 a day for board and lodging. The Ministry of the Interior has already said that Spain has no intention of following the Dutch (and German, and Danish) example.

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