State Spending on Corrections

2019: States spent $63.3 billion on Corrections in 2019, $213.1 billion on Higher Education, and only $25.0 billion on Public Assistance.

2012: States spent $53.2 billion on Corrections in 2012, $171.8 billion on Higher Education, and only $24.4 billion on Public Assistance.

2008: States spent $52 billion on Corrections in 2008, $158.2 billion on Higher Education, and only $25.1 billion on Public Assistance.

2005: States spent $42.9 billion on Corrections in 2005, $131.2 billion on Higher Education, and only $24.7 billion on Public Assistance.

Source: 

National Association of State Budget Officers (2020). 2020 State Expenditure Report: Fiscal Years 2018-2020.
National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), State Expenditure Report 2012: Examining Fiscal 2011-2013 State Spending. Washington, DC: NASBO, 2013.
National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO). Fiscal Year 2008 State Expenditure Report. Washington, DC: NASBO, Fall 2009.
National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO). Fiscal Year 2005 State Expenditure Report. Washington, DC: NASBO, Fall 2006.