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^ Olsont Cavid E 
3^4 Per— unit and 
CSlppein pcr-transact ion 
1993 expenditures in 
the Montana 
criminal justice 
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STATE DCCUMENTS COLLECTION 



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MONTANA STATE LIBRARY 

1515 E. 6th AVE. 
HELENA, MONTANA 59620 



PER-UNIT AND PER-TRANSACTION 

EXPENDITURES IN THE MONTANA 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM 



by David E. Olson 



for the Montana Board of Crime Control 



June 1993 



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MONTANA BOARD OF CRIME CONTROL 



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This project was supported by Grant #91-BJ-CX-K024, awarded by 

the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, 

U.S. Department of Justice. 



MONTANA STATE LIBRARY 

S 364 C5 1 ppem 1 993 c. 1 Olson 
Per-unrt and per-transaction expenditure 



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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 



The author would like to thank the Montana Board of Crime Control for making this study 
possible. In addition, without the assistance provided by the staff of the Montana Board of 
Crime Control, the Montana Department of Commerce, the Montana Department of Corrections 
and Human Services, and the Montana Supreme Court Administrator's Office, this report would 
not have been possible. The author would also like to thank those who reviewed drafts of this 
report, especially Ed Hall and Lowie, Roger K. Przybylski for assisting in the collection, 
analysis, and interpretation of the data, and Bob Liffring for helping coordinate data collection 
and site visits to Montana. 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

David Olson is currently the Director of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority's 
Information Resource Center. Mr. Olson has been with the Authority for more than 5 years, 
serving in various research capacities. He is also a lecturer of Criminal Justice at Loyola 
University of Chicago. Mr. Olson received his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice 
from Loyola University of Chicago, his Master of Arts in Criminal Justice from the University 
of Illinois at Chicago, and is currently a doctoral candidate in Political Science/Public Policy 
Analysis at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has written and published numerous 
articles, reports, and book chapters on the financing of the criminal justice system. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

I. Introduction 1 

n. Per-Unit and Per-Transaction Expenditures for Law Enforcement in Montana ... 2 

in. Per-Filing and Per-Disposition Expenditures for Court Activities in Montana .... 9 

rv. Per-Diem and Per-Booking Expenditures for Montana's County Jails 17 

V. Per-Annum, Per-Diem and Per-Sentence Expenditures for Montana's Prison and 
Probation System 21 

VI. Combined Expenditures to Process an Offender Through the Montana Justice 
System 24 

Vn. Appendix I .25 

Vni. Bibliography 42 



LIST OF FIGURES 

Figure Number Page Number 

1. 1992 Per-Capita Expenditures by Montana's County Sheriffs 26 

2. 1992 Per-Offense Expenditures by Montana's County Sheriffs 26 

3. 1992 Per- Arrest Expenditures by Montana's County Sheriffs 27 

4. 1992 Per-Capita Expenditures by Montana's Municipal Police Departments .... 27 

5. 1992 Per-Offense Expenditures by Montana's Municipal Police Departments ... 28 

6. 1992 Per- Arrest Expenditures by Montana's Municipal Police Departments .... 28 

7. 1992 Per-Capita Expenditures by Montana's Sheriffs and Municipal Police 
Combined 29 

8. 1992 Per-Offense Expenditures by Montana's Sheriffs and Municipal Police 
Combined 29 

9. 1992 Per- Arrest Expenditures by Montana's Sheriffs and Municipal Police 
Combined 30 

10. 1991 Total Per-Filing District Court Expenditures in Montana 31 

11. 1991 Total Per-Disposition District Court Expenditures in Montana 31 

12. 1991 Per-Criminal Filing District Court Expenditures in Montana for 

Court Reporters 32 

13. 1991 Per-Criminal Disposition District Court Expenditures in Montana for Court 
Reporters 32 

14. 1991 Per-Criminal Filing District Court Expenditures in Montana for Witnesses . 33 

15. 1991 Per-Criminal Disposition District Court Expenditures in Montana for 
Witnesses 33 

16. 1991 Per-Criminal Filing District Court Expenditures in Montana for 

Psychiatric Exams 34 



u 



LIST OF HGURES (CONTESfUED) 

Figure Number Page Number 

17. 1991 Per-Criminal Disposition District Court Expenditures in Montana for 
Psychiatric Exams 34 

18. 1991 Per-Criminal Filing District Court Expenditures in Montana for Juries ... 35 

19. 1991 Per-Criminal Disposition District Court Expenditures in Montana 

for Juries 35 

20. 1991 Per-Jury Disposition District Court Expenditures in Montana for Juries ... 36 

21. 1991 Per-Criminal Filing District Court Expenditures in Montana for 

Indigent Defense 37 

22. 1991 Per-Criminal Disposition District Court Expenditures in Montana 

for Indigent Defense 37 

23. 1991 Per-Criminal Filing District Court Expenditures in Montana for 

Prosecution 38 

24. 1991 Per-Criminal Disposition District Court Expenditures in Montana for 
Prosecution 38 

25. Annual Per-Inmate Expenditures in Montana County Jails, 1988 39 

26. Daily Per-Inmate Expenditures in Montana County Jails, 1988 39 

27. Per- Admission Expenditures in Montana County Jails, 1988 40 

28. Per-Admission Expenditures in Montana County Jails, 1988 (by Size of Jail) ... 40 

29. Annual Per-Inmate Expenditures in Montana County Jails, 1988 (by Size of Jail) 41 

30. Daily Per-Inmate Expenditures in Montana County Jails, 1988 (by Size of Jail) . 41 



m 



LIST OF TABLES 

Table Number Page Number 

1. Per-Capita Expenditures by Montana's County Sheriffs, 1988, 1991, and 1992 ... 3 

2. Per-Offense Expenditures by Montana's County Sheriffs, 1988, 1991, and 1992 . . 4 

3. Per-Arrest Expenditures by Montana's County Sheriffs, 1988, 1991, and 1992 ... 4 

4. Per-Capita Expenditures by Montana's Municipal Police Departments, 1988, 1991, 
and 1992 5 

5. Per-Offense Expenditures by Montana's Municipal Police Departments, 1988, 

1991, and 1992 6 

6. Per-Arrest Expenditures by Montana's Municipal Police Departments, 1988, 

1991, and 1992 6 

7. Per-Capita Expenditures by Montana's Sheriffs and Municipal Police Combined, 1988, 
1991, and 1992 7 

8. Per-Offense Expenditures by Montana's Sheriffs and Municipal Police Combined, 1988, 
1991, and 1992 7 

9. Per-Arrest Expenditures by Montana's Sheriffs and Municipal Police Combined, 1988, 
1991, and 1992 8 

10. Total Per-Filing and Per-Disposition District Court Expenditures in 

Montana, 1991 10 

U. Per-Criminal Filing and Disposition Expenditures in Montana's District Courts 

for Court Reporters, 1991 11 

12. Per-Criminal Filing and Disposition Expenditures in Montana's District Courts 

for Witnesses, 1991 12 

13. Per-Criminal Filing and Disposition Expenditures in Montana's District Courts 

for Psychiatric Exams, 1991 12 

14. Per-Criminal Filing and Disposition Expenditures in Montana's District Courts 

for Juries, 1991 13 

15. Per-Jury Disposition Expenditures in Montana's District Courts, 1991 13 

iv 



LIST OF TABLES (CONTINUED) 

Table Number Page Number 

16. Per-Criminal Filing and Disposition Expenditures in Montana's District Courts for 
Indigent Defense, 1991 14 

17. Per-Criminal Filing and Disposition Expenditures in Montana's District Courts 

for Prosecution, 1991 15 

18. Per-Criminal Filing and Disposition Expenditures in Montana's District Courts 

for Criminal Cases, 1991 16 

19. Per- Annum and Per-Diem Expenditures to Incarcerate an Offender in Montana's 
County Jails, 1988 18 

20. Per- Pretrial Detention Expenditures in Various Case Outcomes in Montana, 1988 18 

21. Per-Admission Expenditures in Montana County Jails, 1983 and 1988 19 

22. Per-Admission, Per-Annum, and Per-Diem Expenditures in Montana's County Jails, 
1988 20 

23. Per-Annum and Per-Diem Expenditures for Montana's Prison System, 1991 ... 21 

24. Per-Prison Sentence Expenditures in Montana, 1991 22 

25. Combined Per-Offender, Per-Transaction Expenditures to Process an Offender 
Through the Montana Criminal Justice System 24 



I. INTRODUCTION 

In order for criminal justice policy makers to be able to accurately assess the full financial 
impact of various decisions in the justice system and throughout the processing of an offender 
through the criminal justice process, it is necessary to estimate the costs of the various activities 
involved. Simply analyzing aggregate budgets, without comparing them to various measures of 
the justice system's workload, does not reveal the costs associated with specific units of 
production. Thus, the intention of this report is to present different methods from which 
estimates of the average costs associated with the most common or frequently cited workload 
measures of the components of the criminal justice system (criminal offenses, arrests, criminal 
court filings, criminal court dispositions, trials, admissions to county jails, lengths of pre-trial 
detention, and forms of incarceration and supervision in Montana) can be produced. 

Data on expenditures for specific justice activities and agencies were collected from numerous 
sources, including Montana-specific data from the Bureau of Justice Statistic' s Justice 
Expenditure and Employment in the U.S. and Census of Local Jails data series, and data 
collected from state agencies in Montana, including the Montana Department of Commerce and 
the Montana Supreme Court Administrator's Office. 

Data on specific measures of criminal justice system activities and workloads were also collected 
ft"om numerous sources, including Montana-specific data from the Bureau of Justice Statistic's 
Census of Local Jails data series, the Montana Board of Crime Control's Uniform Crime Report 
dataset, the Montana State Judicial Information System, and the Montana Department of 
Corrections and Human Services. 

The organization of this report is such that each component Oaw enforcement, courts, indigent 
defense, prosecution, jail, prison, and probation) of the Montana justice system is first 
considered individually, then all the estimates are brought together to form a system-wide cost 
estimate. Two measures were used to estimate the average per-unit expenditure for the 
individual transactions that occur in the processing of an offender. The first measure is a 
weighted average, where total expenditures were divided by the total workload measure. For 
example, total law enforcement expenditures in Montana were divided by the total number of 
criminal offenses reported to law enforcement agencies in Montana to arrive at the average per- 
offense expenditure. The second measure is the mean or each individual unit of government's 
per-workload measure. For example, law enforcement expenditures for each individual law 
enforcement agency in Montana were divided by the total number of criminal offenses reported 
to each individual law enforcement agency. The mean of these individual law enforcement 
agency per-offense expenditures was then calculated. The weighted average and mean for each 
measure of per-unit expenditures are presented in tables for each activity. The weighted average 
is a more accurate measure of overall expenditures for a specific activity in Montana, whereas 
the mean is influenced more by individual agencies that may have extremely high or low per-unit 
expenditures. Figures presenting the per-unit expenditure for each county or unit of government, 
the weighted average, and the mean are presented in Figures 1 through 30 in the Appendix. 



n. PER-UNIT AND PER-TRANSACTION EXPENDITURES FOR LAW 
ENFORCEMENT IN MONTANA 



Overview of Methodology and Assumptions 

In order to measure the cost associated with various units of output or transactions that occur 
with police operations, a number of measures have and could be used. Among these are the 
number of mUes patrolled, the number of Index offenses reported to the police, the number of 
calls for service made to the police (criminal and non-criminal), and the population of the 
jurisdiction (per-capita expenditures). When measuring the total workload of police departments 
relative to expenditures, however, the use of Index offenses (Murder, Rape, Robbery, 
Aggravated Assault, Larceny/Theft, Burglary, Motor Vehicle Theft, and Arson) in the 
denominator has a couple of limitations. The first, and most important in terms of estimating 
average expenditures per-crime, is that Index offenses accounted for only half of all criminal 
offenses reported to local (county and municipal) law enforcement agencies in Montana in 1992 
(Crime in Montana, 1992, p. 10). Thus, if only Index offenses were used in the denominator 
the average per-offense expenditure would be over-inflated. Second, because the investigation 
of relatively infrequent and involved cases Oike homicides, rape, or robbery) can be extremely 
time and resource consuming, per-offense costs for these types of cases could be extremely high. 
Therefore, all offenses (Index and non-Index) are used in the following analyses. Specifically, 
per-capita, per-offense, and per-arrest expenditures by Montana's sheriffs and municipal police 
are examined and presented in the following chapter. Because not all Montana law enforcement 
agencies participate in the Montana Uniform Crime Reporting (MUCR) program, those agencies 
are excluded from the analysis since offense and arrest data are not readily available. 
Expenditure data for Montana's local law enforcement agencies in 1988 came from the Bureau 
of Justice Statistic' s Justice Expenditure and Employment in the U.S. data series. Expenditure 
data for Montana's local law enforcement agencies in 1991 and 1992 were collected from 
financial forms submitted by local units of government to the Montana Department of 
Commerce. Because the 1988, 1991, and 1992 expenditure figures presented have not been 
adjusted to control for inflation, comparisons of these figures from year to year should not be 
made. 



Per-Capita Expenditures by Montana's County Sheriffs 

One of the most commonly used measures of the level of law enforcement expenditures when 
comparing across jurisdictions is per-capita expenditures, calculated by dividing the total 
expenditures by the total population served by the law enforcement agency. Two different 
statistical methods were used to estimate the average per-capita expenditures in 1988, 1991, and 
1992. First, a weighted average was calculated, where county sheriff expenditures and the 
population served by the sheriffs were aggregated and then the division of total expenditures by 



total papulation took place. Second, an average of all individual county sheriff f)er-capita 
expenditures was calculated (that is, the data were not aggregated prior to the calculation of the 
fraction). The results of both of these per-capita expenditure calculation procedures are 
presented in Table 1 below for the three years analyzed. Included in the table are the number 
of counties included in the analysis. The individual 1992 per-capita expenditures for each of the 
Montana counties included in the analysis are presented in Figure 1 on page 26 of the Appendix. 

Included in the table are the number of counties used in the analysis. For some counties, usable 
expenditure data were not available from the sources due to non-reporting or the expenditures 
were not dis-aggregated enough to determine law enforcement expenditures. Other counties do 
not submit data to the Montana Board of Crime Control through the Montana Uniform Crime 
Report program. Because of these limitations, data were only available for certain counties. 
Still, these counties included those which account for the majority of Montana's population. The 
43 counties included in the analysis for 1992 accounted for almost 70 percent of Montana's 
population served by county sheriffs. 



Table 1 

Per-Capita Expenditures by Montana's 
County Sheriffs, 1988, 1991, and 1992 



Per-Capita Expenditures 




1988 (N=36) 


1991 (N=40) 


1992 (N=43) 


Weighted Average 


$34.98 


$54.68 


$60.52 


Mean 


$44.58 


$64.65 


$68.52 



Per-Offense Expenditures by Montana's County Sheriffs 

In order to estimate how much Montana's County Sheriffs spent, on average, for each criminal 
offense reported to their offices, 1988, 1991, and 1992 expenditure and offense data were 
analyzed.' As in the previous analysis, a weighted average was first calculated, where 
expenditures and offenses were aggregated and then the division of total expenditures by total 
offenses took place. Second, an average of all the individual county sheriff per-offense 
expenditures was calculated (that is, the data were not aggregated prior to the calculation of the 
fraction) to produce the mean. The results of both of these per-offense expenditure estimation 
procedures for Montana's county sheriffs in 1988, 1991, and 1992 are presented in Table 2 



' The total number of offenses reported to the police were extracted from the Montana 
Uniform Crime Report database maintained by the Montana Board of Crime Control. 



below. The individual 1992 per-offense expenditures for each of the Montana counties included 
in the analysis are presented in Figure 2 on page 26 of the Appendix. 



Table 2 

Per-Offense Expenditures by Montana's 

County Sheriffs, 1988, 1991, and 1992 



Per-Offense Expenditures 




1988 (N=35) 


1991 (N=36) 


1992 (N=43) 


Weighted Average 


$495.85 


$734.12 


$793.67 


Mean 


$4,220.56 


$1,919.86 


$1,520.06 



Per-Arrest Expenditures by Montana's County Sheriffs 

The number of arrests, another measure of law enforcement workload, were also analyzed using 
a similar method. County sheriff expenditures were divided by the total number of arrests 
reported through the MUCR program using 1988, 1991, and 1992 data. Table 3 below contains 
the weighted average and the mean per-arrest expenditures by Montana's county sheriffs in 
1988, 1991, and 1992. As can be seen, 1992 county sheriff per-arrest expenditures are more 
than three times higher than per-offense expenditures. The individual 1992 per-arrest 
expenditures for each of the Montana county sheriffs (as well as the mean and weighted average) 
included in the analysis are presented in Figure 3 on page 27 of the Appendix. 



Table 3 

Per-Arrest Expenditures by Montana's 
County Sheriffs, 1988, 1991, and 1992 



Per-Arrest Expenditures 




1988 (N=34) 


1991 (N=37) 


1992 (N=39) 


Weighted Average 


$1,165.16 


$2,580.47 


$2,500.52 


Mean 


$4,700.56 


$10,278.97 


$13,214.92 



Per-Capita Expenditures by Montana's Municipal Police Departments 

As was discussed previously, one of the most commonly used measures of the level of law 
enforcement expenditures when comparing across jurisdictions is per-capita expenditures. As 
in the previous analyses, the 1988, 1991, and 1992 weighted average and mean were calculated 
for those Montana municipal police departments for which data were available. The results of 
these per-capita expenditure calculation procedures are presented in Table 4 below. Included 
in the table are the number of municipalities included in the analysis. The individual 1992 per- 
capita expenditures for each of the Montana municipalities included in the analysis (as well as 
the mean and weighted average) are presented in Figure 4 on page 27 of the Appendix. 

Included in the table are the number of municipal departments included in the analysis. For 
some municipalities, usable expenditure data were not available from the sources. Other 
municipalities do not submit data to the Montana Board of Crime Control through the Montana 
Uniform Crime Report program. Because of these limitations, data were only available for 
certain municipal police departments. Of the 37 municipal police departments identified in 
Crime in Montana 1992, data were available for 30 of those municipalities in 1992. 



Table 4 

Per-Capita Expenditures by Montana's 
Municipal Police Departments, 1988, 1991, and 1992 



Per-Capita Expenditures 




1988 (N=22) 


1991 (N=27) 


1992 (N = 30) 


Weighted Average 


$50.78 


$65.45 


$67.36 


Mean 


$65.94 


$70.61 


$78.72 



Per-Offense Expenditures by Montana's Municipal Police Departments 

Similar to the analysis performed with Montana's county sheriffs, two different statistical 
methods were used to estimate the average expenditure per-offense in 1988, 1991, and 1992 for 
Montana's municipal police departments. The results of both of these per-offense expenditure 
estimation procedures for Montana's municipalities are presented in Table 5 on the following 
page. In addition, the 1992 per-offense expenditures for each municipal police department 
included in the analysis (as well as the mean and weighted average) are presented in Figure 5 
on page 28 of the Appendix. Comparing the per-offense expenditures calculated for Montana's 
county sheriffs (Table 2) to Montana's municipalities (Table 5), it can be seen that Montana's 
county sheriffs sf)ent almost twice as much per-offense as did Montana's municipalities in 1992. 
Part of this difference may be explained by the fact that the jurisdiction of a county sheriff is 



much larger (in terms of square miles) and those citizens served by the sheriff are spread out 
over a larger geographic area (the population density served is lower for the sheriff). In 
addition, non-law enforcement activities may be paid from the amount reported as law 
enforcement expenditures (e.g., serving warrants). 

Table 5 

Per-Offense Expenditures by Montana's 
Municipal PoUce, 1988, 1991, and 1992 



Per-Offense Expenditures 




1988 (N=22) 


1991 (N=27) 


1992 (N=30) 


Weighted Average 


$322.26 


$408.06 


$402.70 


Mean 


$747.49 


$1,144.15 


$1,057.36 



Per-Arrest Expenditures by Montana's Municipal Police Departments 

Table 6 below contains the weighted average and the mean per-arrest expenditures by Montana's 
municipal police in 1988, 1991, and 1992. As can be seen, per-arrest expenditures by 
Montana's municipal police are more than twice as large as per-offense expenditures. The 1992 
per-arrest expenditures for each municipality included in the analyses are presented in Figure 
6 on page 28 of the Appendix. 



Table 6 

Per-Arrest Expenditures by Montana's 
Municipal Police, 1988, 1991, and 1992 



Per-Arrest Expenditures 




1988 (N=22) 


1991 (N=27) 


1992 (N^30) 


Weighted Average 


$579.30 


$1,256.31 


$1,076.21 


Mean 


$1,390.34 


$3,101.10 


$2,060.21 



Per-Capita Law Enforcement Expenditures in Montana 

In order to get an overall average of per-capita law enforcement expenditures by local law 
enforcement agencies in Montana, the data available for the county sheriffs and the municipal 
police were combined and analyses similar to that presented above were performed on these data. 



Based on this combination of the data, it can be seen in Table 7 that in 1992, $64.02 per-capita 
was spent for local law enforcement activities in Montana. This $64.02 spent per-capita in 1992 
when the combined data are analyzed was 6 percent higher than when only Montana's county 
sheriffs' expenditures were analyzed and 5 percent lower than when only Montana's municipal 
police expenditures were analyzed. Data for the individual agencies included in the analysis are 
presented in Figure 7 on page 29 of the Appendix. 



Table 7 

Per-Capita Expenditures by Montana's 

Sheriffs and Municipal Police Combined, 1988, 1991, and 1992 



Per-Capita Expenditures 




1988 (N=56) 


1991 (N=63) 


1992 (N=73) 


Weighted Average 


$40.99 


$59.71 


$64.02 


Mean 


$51.80 


$67.34 


$72.59 



Per-Offense Law Enforcement Expenditures in Montana 

In order to estimate the overall per-offense law enforcement expenditures by local law 
enforcement agencies in Montana, the data available for the county sheriffs and the municipal 
police were combined and analyses similar to that presented above were performed. Table 8 
contains the weighted average and mean per-offense expenditure when all local law enforcement 
agencies for which data were available are analyzed. As can be seen in Table 8, the $561 per 
offense estimated for 1992 when all agencies are included is lower than the $793 when only 
county sheriffs were analyzed and higher than the estimate of $402 when only municipal police 
departments were included in the estimate. Data for the individual agencies included in the 
analysis are presented in Figure 8 on page 29 of the Appendix. 



Table 8 

Per-Offense Expenditures by Montana's County 
Sheriffs and Municipal Police Combined, 1988, 1991, and 1992 



Per-Offense Expenditures 




1988 (N=56) 


1991 (N=63) 


1992 (N=73) 


Weighted Average 


$393.58 


$516.55 


$561.01 


Mean 


$2,880.08 


$1,587.41 


$1,329.91 



Per-Arrest Law Enforcement Expenditures in Montana 

In order to estimate the overall average per-arrest law enforcement expenditures by local law 
enforcement agencies in Montana, the data available for the county sheriffs and the municipal 
police were combined and analyzed. As can be seen in Table 9, and as was seen in Table 8, 
the average when all agencies are combined falls between the previous results using either the 
county sheriff or municipal police data. The combined $1,580 per-arrest estimated for 1992 
when all agencies are included is between the $2,500 when only county sheriffs were analyzed 
the $1,076 when only municipal police departments were included in the estimate. Data for the 
individual agencies included in the analysis are presented in Figure 9 on page 30 of the 
Appendix. 



Table 9 

Per-Arrest Expenditures by Montana's County 
Sheriffs and Municipal Police Combined, 1988, 1991, and 1992 



Per-Arrest Expenditures 




1988 (N=56) 


1991 (N=63) 


1992 (N=73) 


Weighted Average 


$781.00 


$1,634.44 


$1,580.46 


Mean 


$3,400.13 


$7,250.00 


$8,365.05 



Summary and Conclusions 



As can be seen from the analyses and estimates produced for law enforcement activities in the 
preceding pages costs can vary widely, depending upon which measure is used in the 
denominator of the fraction used to estimate per-unit expenditures. However, when the per- 
offense and per-arrest expenditures are compared using the either the sheriffs or the 
municipalities, or the combination of the two, it appears that the most conservative, consistent 
estimate would be that based on the combination of the two. In addition, the use of the per- 
qffense, rather than the per-arrest, estimate would also be more conservative and easier to argue 
as an indicator of how much it costs police to respond to each crime that occurs. If only arrests 
are used as a measure, then no weight is given to the crimes that are either investigated 
extensively with no resulting arrest, nor does it measure crimes which are solved or resolved 
without the arrest of an individual. Therefore, in 1992, a conservative, accurate measure of the 
weighted average cost of a criminal offense to the police in Montana is $561, or a mean of 
almost $1,330 per-offense. 



m. PER-FILING AND PER-DISPOSITION EXPENDITURES FOR 
COURT RELATED ACTIVITIES IN MONTANA 



Overview of Methodology and Assumptions 

Unlike police agency expenditures and activities, which are involved solely in criminal justice 
related operations, court expenditures are often for both civil and criminal justice activities. For 
example, justice of the peace courts, municipal courts, and city courts are involved in both 
misdemeanor and civil cases. The District courts hear civil, felony, and juvenile cases. Because 
of the mix between civil and criminal cases, it is often difficult to separate the cost of these two 
functions from aggregate "court" budgets in most jurisdictions. To a lesser extent, county 
attorney's offices not only prosecute all criminal cases, but also represent the state and county 
in civil matters and provide legal services to county officials. Some expenditures, however, can 
easily be identified as "criminal" court costs. Public defense expenditures, for example, are 
specific to the cost associated with processing criminal offenses through the courts. The cost 
of a psychiatric examination for a defendant can also be identified as a "criminal" court cost. 

In Montana's District courts, costs incurred by counties for those activities listed below are 
reimbursed by the state. Because these costs are reimbursed to counties, it is a more accurate 
representation of how much was actually spent on each activity. Those specific criminal court 
costs which are reimbursed by the state include; 

1) a percent of Court Reporters' salaries; 

2) the cost of transcripts of eligible criminal proceedings; 

3) the cost of psychiatric examinations in criminal proceedings; 

4) witness and jury expenses of criminal proceedings, and; 

5) indigent defense expenses of criminal proceedings. 

In some states, the costs of court reporters' salaries, transcripts, psychiatric examinations, and 
witness and jury expenses are included as part of an agency's overall budget and cannot always 
be separated out from other expenditures. 

As with the estimation of per-capita/per-arrest/per-offense expenditures by Montana's local law 
enforcement agencies, there are numerous denominators that can be used in estimating the cost 
associated with specific activities or transactions that occur in the criminal court process. For 
example, simply dividing total District court expenditures by the total number of cases (civil plus 
criminal) filed or disposed of would result in the weighted average or mean per-filing or per- 
disposition expenditures. However, because of the availability of criminal court-specific 
expenditure and activity data, it is possible to develop a component/transaction-specific estimate 
of criminal court costs in Montana. 

There are two ways per-filing and per-disposition costs can be estimated for the processing of 
offenders through the criminal courts in Montana; 1) by determining how many instances of 



witnesses, transcripts, jury, psychiatric exam, or use of indigent defense there actually were, 
or 2) by amortizing the costs of these activities over all criminal cases filed or disposed of in 
the courts. The first method would provide for exact per-case costs, given different scenarios, 
while the second would result in an "average" cost associated with processing an "average" 
offender through the court. As with the analyses performed for law enforcement expenditures 
per-unit, the per-unit court related expenditures for each Montana county are presented in the 
Appendix. Expenditures for these court activities represent reimbursements to counties from 
Montana's Office of the Supreme Court Administrator and reports filed with the Montana 
Department of Commerce. Criminal filing data were also provided for each county by the 
Montana's Office of the Supreme Court Administrator. Because the fiscal year of Montana's 
governmental units cover the period from July 1 to June 30, and criminal filing data were 
available by calendar year for 1991, expenditures for fiscal year 1991 and 1992 were calculated 
and applied to the 1991 criminal filing data. 



Per-FUing and Disposition Expenditures in Montana's District Courts 

As was stated on the previous page, one of the most basic methods that can be used to estimate 
the per-case cost in Montana's District courts is to divide total District court expenditures 
(criminal and civil) in each county by the total number of cases (criminal and civil) filed of 
disposed of in the District court in each county. Using this method, it is assumed that all cases 
(civil, criminal, and juvenile) require an equivalent amount of resources to process. The results 
of these calculations are presented in Table 10 below. The per-filing and per-disposition 
expenditures for each individual Montana county in 1991 are presented in Figures 10 and 11 on 
page 31 of the Appendix. As can be seen in Table 10, the weighted average cost per- filing in 
Montana's District court in 1991 was approximately $495 and the weighted average per- 
disposition cost was almost $580. 

Table 10 

Total Per-Filing and Per-Disposition District Court 
Expenditures in Montana, 1991 





Per-Filing Expenditures 


Per-Disposition Expenditures 


Weighted Average 


$495.12 


$579.51 


Mean 


$709.07 


$812.12 1 



Per-Criminal Filing and Disposition Expenditures for Specific Criminal Justice Activities 

Although the easiest method for estimating costs in the courts would be to follow the procedure 
described above, where it is assumed that all cases (civil, criminal, and juvenile) require equal 
resources, it is far more advantageous if data specific to criminal justice costs can be analyzed 

10 



apart from the civil justice expenditures and criminal cases can be separated from civil cases. 
Based on the data available in Montana, this is possible. Because data on how much was spent 
for court reporters, psychiatric exams, witness and jury costs, indigent defense, and county 
attorney expenditures exist, it is possible to analyze these data with information on the number 
of criminal cases filed and disposed of in Montana's District courts. These data are available 
for every county in Montana. Similar to the method used to estimate the average per-unit cost 
for Montana's law enforcement agencies, both a weighted average and mean were calculated 
separately for the per-criminal case filing and per-criminal case disposition expenditures for 
court reporters, witnesses, psychiatric exams, jury expenses, indigent defense, and county 
attorney. 



Per-FUing and Disposition Expenditures for Court Reporters in Montana's District Courts 

Per-filing and per-disposition expenditures for court reporter activities specific to criminal cases 
are presented in Table 11. In 1991, an average of $76.98 was spent per-criminal filing for court 
reporter services, compared to $64.89 when per-disposition expenditures are estimated. Because 
court reporters are involved in all criminal cases, it can be safely assumed that this is an 
accurate estimate and not an underestimate. Per-filing and per-disposition court reporter 
expenditures for each county are presented in Figures 12 and 13 on page 32 of the Appendix. 



Table 11 

Per-Criminal Filing and Disposition Expenditures in Montana's 
District Courts for Court Reporters, 1991 





Court Reporter Per-Filing 


Court Reporter 
Per-Disposition 


Weighted Average 


$76.98 


$64.89 


Mean 


$109.98 


$95.73 1 



Per-FUing and Disposition Expenditures for Witnesses in Montana 's District Courts 

Per-filing and per-disposition expenditures for witness fees specific to criminal cases are 
presented in Table 12 on the following page. In 1991, an average of $28.98 was spent per 
criminal filing for witnesses, or $24.43 when criminal dispositions are used as the measure of 
workload. Because not all criminal cases require witnesses, this method overestimates the cost 
in those cases not needing witnesses and underestimates those cases where a witness is required. 
Because it is not possible to know the number of cases involving a witness, it is not possible to 
make this estimate more specific. Per-filing and per-disposition witness expenditures for each 

11 



county where witness expenditures were reported in 1991 are presented in Figures 14 and 15 on 
page 33 of the Appendix. 



Table 12 

Per-Criminal Filing and Disposition Expenditures in Montana's 
District Courts for Witnesses, 1991 





Witness 
Per-Filing 


Witness 
Per-Disposition 


Weighted Average 


$28.98 


$24.43 


Mean 


$79.73 


$42.62 



Per-Filing and Disposition Expenditures for Psychiatric Exams in Montana's District Courts 

Per-filing and per-disposition expenditures for psychiatric exams specific to criminal cases are 
presented in Table 13. In 1991, an average of $28.47 was spent per-criminal filing for 
witnesses, or $24.00 when per-dispositions are used as the measure of workload. Because not 
all criminal cases require a psychiatric examination, this overestimates the cost in those cases 
not needing these services and underestimates those cases where a defendant needed a psychiatric 
exam. Because it is not possible to know the number of cases requiring a psychiatric 
examination to be performed, it is not possible to make this estimate more specific. Per-filing 
and per-disposition psychiatric exam expenditures for each county where psychiatric exam 
expenditures were reported in 1991 are presented in Figures 16 and 17, on page 34 of the 
Appendix. 



Table 13 

Per-Criminal Filing and Disposition Expenditures in Montana's 
District Courts for Psychiatric Exams, 1991 





Psychiatric Exam 
Per-Filing 


Psychiatric Exam Per- 
Disposition 


Weighted Average 


$28.47 


$24.00 


1 Mean 


$50.23 


$55.35 



12 



Per-Filing and Disposition Expenditures for Jury Fees in Montana 's District Courts 

Per-fUing and per-disposition expenditures for juries specific to criminal cases are presented in 
Table 14. In 1991, an average of $45.93 was spent per criminal filing for juries, or $38.72 
when criminal dispositions are used as the measure of workload. Because not all criminal cases 
are disposed of by a jury, this estimate overestimates the cost in those cases where there is a 
guilty plea or bench trial. Per-filing and per-disposition jury fee expenditures for each county 
where jury fee expenditures were reported in 1991 are presented in Figures 18 and 19, on page 
35 of the Appendix. Because data are available on the number of dispositions resulting from 
a jury, it is possible to make this estimate more specific. 

Table 14 

Per-Criminal Filing and Disposition Expenditures in Montana's 
District Courts for Juries, 1991 





Jury 
Per-Filing 


Jury 
Per-Disposition 


Weighted Average 


$45.93 


$38.72 


Mean 


$102.98 


$67.98 



Although Table 14 presents the per-filing and disp>osition estimate the p>er-jury expenditures at 
$45.93 and $38.72 respectively, using total filings and dispositions severely underestimates the 
per-unit cost where a jury trial was utilized to dispose of a criminal case. Because such a small 
proportion of all criminal cases initiated in the courts are disposed of by a jury trial, using total 
criminal cases in the denominator amortizes the cost of jury trials over a large number of cases 
which do not use juries. Therefore, in order to attempt to more accurately estimate the cost 
associated with a jury disposition of a criminal case, total jury expenditures were divided by the 
number of jury dispositions in each Montana county in 1991. The results of these calculations 
are presented in Table 15. As can be seen, the estimate produced when only jury dispositions 
are used in the denominator is considerably higher than when the expenditures for juries are 
amortized across all criminal filings and dispositions and not specifically those disposed of by 
a jury. Per-jury disposition jury fee expenditures for each county in 1991 are presented in 
Figure 20, on page 36 of the Appendix. 

Table 15 

Per-Jury Disposition Expenditures in Montana's 

District Courts, 1991 





Jury Reimbursements 


Weighted Average 


$1,044.44 


Mean 


$1,100.35 



13 



Per-FUing and Disposition Expenditures for Indigent Defense in Montana's District Courts 

Per-filing and per-dispwsition expenditures for indigent defense sp)ecific to criminal cases are 
presented in Table 16. In 1991, an average of $459.80 was spent per criminal filing for indigent 
defense, or $387.60 when criminal dispositions are used as the measure of workload. Because 
not all criminal defendants are represented by a public defender, this estimate overestimates the 
cost in those cases where a private attorney is retained by the defendant and underestimates those 
cases where a public defender was utilized. Per-filing and per-disposition indigent defense 
expenditures for each county in 1991 are presented in Figures 21 and 22 on page 37 of the 
Appendix. 

Table 16 

Per-Criminal Filing and Disposition Expenditures in Montana's 
District Courts for Indigent Defense, 1991 





Indigent Defense 
Per-Filing 


Indigent Defense 
Per-Disposition 


Weighted Average 


$459.80 


$387.60 


Mean 


$548.61 


$459.86 



Because some data are available on the proportion of criminal cases handled by an assigned 
attorney or the public defender, it is possible to make this estimate more specific. Based on 
analysis of criminal cases disposed of in Montana's District courts, it was determined that 80 
percent of the cases used indigent defense. Thus, the per-disp>osition weighted average cost of 
those cases which utilized the services of the public defender or assigned counsel in 1991 was 
more than $484. 



Per-FUing and Disposition Expenditures for Prosecution in Montana's District Courts 

In order to estimate the cost associated with prosecuting a criminal case in Montana's District 
courts, county attorney expenditures were divided by both criminal filings and criminal 
dispositions in the District courts. Although Montana's county attorneys are not only involved 
in the processing of criminal cases, it is not possible to separate their various functions from the 
available expenditure data. As can be seen in Table 17 on the following page, the weighted 
average per-filing prosecution expenditures in Montana's District courts in 1991 was more than 
$1,600, compared to a per-disposition cost of almost $1,340. Per-filing and per-disposition 
prosecution expenditures for each county in 1991 are presented in Figures 23 and 24 on page 
38 of the Appendix. 



14 



Table 17 

Per-Criminal Filing and Per-Criminal Disposition 
Expenditures for Prosecution in Montana's District Courts, 1992 





Per-Filing 


Per-Disposition 


Weighted Average 


$1,609.81 


$1,334.78 


Mean 


$3,770.23 


$3,567.37 



Per-FiUng and Disposition Expenditures for the Judiciary in Montana's District Courts 

In order to estimate the cost of judicial services (that is, the total cost forjudges to hear criminal 
cases), an assumption was made that all cases heard require the same resources. By dividing 
the total expenditures for District court judge's salaries, equipment, and operating expenditures 
by the total (civil plus criminal) number of cases filed and disposed of in Montana's District 
Courts, the result is the weighted average per-y?/m^ judicial expenditure. In 1992, the per-filing 
expenditure was $112.35, while the weighted average per-disposition judicial expenditure in 
1992 was $131.50. 



Summary and Conclusions 

By combining the per-filing and per-disposition expenditures for each individual component or 
stage of the processing of an accused offender through the Montana District courts, it can be 
seen that the total cost per-filing or per-disposition can range from $1,511 to almost $3,000, 
depending on the specific nature of the case. For example, if the defendant does not use the 
services of the public defender and pleads guilty (e.g., no jury trial), the cost per-disposition 
would be $1,511 ($1,334 for prosecution, $65 for a court reporter, and $112 for the judge). 
However, if the defendant were indigent, and therefore was provided indigent defense services 
and opted for a jury trial, the per-disposition cost (based on the weighted averages presented in 
Table 18 on the following page) would be $2,991. When the individual components of 
processing a criminal defendant through the Montana District courts are compared, it appears 
that the largest costs are those for prosecution and indigent defense services. Table 18, 
summarizes the weighted average and mean of each individual component of the Montana 
District courts for each disposition. 



15 



Table 18 

Per-Criminal Disposition Expenditures 
in Montana's District Courts, 1991 





Weighted Average 


Mean 


Court Reporter 


$65 


$96 


Witnesses 


$24 


$43 


Psychiatric Examination 


$24 


$55 


Jury Fees 


$1,044 


$1,100 


Indigent Defense 


$388 


$460 


Prosecution 


$1,334 


$3,567 


Judicial 


$112 


$131 


Total 


$2,991 


$5,452 



Another important comparison that can be made is between the per-case expenditure figures 
presented in Table 18 and those presented in Table 10 (page 10). In the analysis that produced 
the per-filing and per-disposition expenditures in Table 10, total district court expenditures were 
divided by total filings and dispositions (civil and criminal). The weighted average per- 
disposition expenditure resulting from that analysis is $579, which is 80 percent lower than when 
the individual per-disposition expenditures for criminal case related activities are analyzed (Table 
18). Determining how many (or what proportion of) all criminal cases require witnesses and 
psychiatric exams would make the estimated per-criminal filing and disposition expenditures 
more specific and robust. 



16 



rV. PER-DBEM AND PER-BOOKING EXPENDITURES FOR MONTANA 

COUNTY JAD^ 



Overview of Methodology and Assumptions 

Determining the appropriate denominator in estimating a per-unit cost for correctional institutions 
(jails and prisons) is perhaps one of the most intuitive of all the per-unit estimation procedures 
in the criminal justice system. For the most part, operational correctional costs are estimated 
on a per-diem or per-annum basis. Not included, and beyond the scope of this project, is the 
inclusion of the amortized cost of the capital and debt-financing associated with jail or prison 
construction. 

There are three basic measures that can be used to assess the cost of various jail activities. The 
first is the cost per-unit of time (per-day or per- year). The second is the per-admission cost, 
whereby the cost for each individual admitted to the jail is estimated. Lastly, the combination 
of per-diem expenditures and the length of days an inmate or pre-trial detainee spends in jail will 
result in a per-incarceration expenditure estimate. This last estimation procedure requires data 
on the average length of stay or period of incarceration the typical inmate has to incur. These 
data are not available from any source in Montana, so other measures of processing times are 
employed to give some sense of how the data can be used. 



Per-Diem and Per-Annum Jail Expenditures Per Inmate 

In order to estimate the annual cost to incarcerate an inmate in a county jail in Montana, the 
total expenditures were divided by the average daily population in each of Montana's county 
jails. In order to estimate the daily cost to incarcerate an inmate in a county jail in Montana, 
the per-year expenditures were divided by 365. Table 19, on the following page, presents 
weighted average and mean annual and daily per-inmate expenditures in Montana's county jails 
in 1988.^ Forty-four of Montana's 56 counties are included. Some counties do not operate 
county jails, but rather, contract with neighboring counties. The per-inmate expenditures per- 
year and per-diem for each individual Montana county are presented in Figures 25 and 26 on 
page 39 of the Appendix. 



^ Because statewide data on jail populations are not collected by any agency in Montana, data 
from the Census of Local Jails, 1988 are used in this analysis. 

17 



Table 19 

Per-Annum and Per-Diem Expenditures to Incarcerate 
an Offender in Montana County Jails, 1988 





Per-Inmate, Per- Year 


Per-Inmate, Per-Diem 


Weighted Average 


$12,409.76 


$34.00 


1 Mean 


$27,998.04 


$76.71 



By determining per-annum and per-diem expenditures per inmate in Montana county jails, the 
cost associated with various lengths of incarceration or pre-trial detention can be estimated. 
Although not all defendants are held in a county jail prior to the disposition of their criminal 
case, these cost estimates represent the amount that would be expended if pre-trial detention for 
the entire court processing time were utilized. For example, based on analysis of data available 
through the Statewide Judicial Information System by the Montana Board of Crime Control, it 
was determined that the median time between the filing of a criminal case to a guilty plea at 
arraignment was 33 days.^ If a defendant were detained in a county jail for this entire period, 
the per-case cost for pre-trial detention would be $1,122 (Table 20). If a defendant were 
detained the entire period, from filing to final disposition, and had a bench trial— in which the 
median processing time was 143 days- the pre-trial detention cost would exceed $4,800 (Table 
20). If a defendant were detained the entire period, from filing to final disposition, and opted 
for aywry trial—in which the median processing time was 168 days— the pre-trial detention cost 
would exceed $5,700 (Table 20). 



Table 20 

Per-Pretrial Detention Expenditures for 
Various Case Outcomes in Montana, 1988 





Median Time 


Per-Disposition Cost 


Filing to Arraignment 


33 Days 


$1,122 


Filing to Bench Trial 


143 Days 


$4,862 


Jury Trial 


168 Days 


$5,700 



^ Unpublished report provided by the Statistical Analysis Center of the Montana Board of 
Crime Control. 



18 



Per-Admission Jail Expenditures Per-Inmate 

Although per-annum and per-diem expenditures are an easily understood and easily manipulated 
measure of the costs associated with detaining or incarcerating someone in a county jail in 
Montana, there is another measure of the costs associated with processing an individual through 
Montana county jails. Each person admitted and processed through the jail can be seen as a 
workload unit. Thus, the total number of admissions into each county jail can be divided by 
total jail expenditures to get a per-jail admission expenditure. As with the previous analyses, 
both the weighted average and the mean expenditure of all counties were calculated. Table 21 
contains the estimated per-admission expenditures in Montana's county jails in 1983 and 1988. 
Figure 27 on page 40 of the Appendix, contains the per-admission expenditures for Montana 
county in 1988. 



Table 21 

Per-Admission Expenditures in Montana 
County Jails, 1983 and 1988 





1983 (N=45) 


1988 (N=44) 


Weighted Average 


$94.25 


$251.61 


1 Mean 


$382.86 


$636.52 



Per-Admission, Per-Annum, and Per-Diem Jail Expenditures in Different Size Jails 

Preliminary analysis of these per-unit jail expenditure data, whereby Montana's county jails were 
aggregated into "Large," "Medium," and "Small" jails, revealed some dramatic differences in 
per-admission, and per-annum and per-diem expenditures.** The weighted average expenditures 
per-inmate for these measures are presented in Table 22 on the following page. Figures 28 
through 30 on pages 40 and 41 of the Appendix graphically present these data. For the most 
part, smaller jails have higher per-diem and per-annum costs than larger county jails in Montana, 
most likely due to the realization of economies-of-scale in the larger jails. 



* The jails were put into the various size categories by sorting the total admissions from 
highest to lowest, and then assigning the top third to the "large" category, the middle third to 
"medium" and the lower third to the "small" category. 



19 



Table 22 

Per- Admission, Per- Annum, and Per-Diem 

Expenditures in Montana County Jails, 1988 





Per-Admission 


Per-Annum 


Per-Diem 


Large (N=15) 


$195.18 


$9,827.23 


$26.92 


Medium (N=15) 


$378.96 


$17,324.33 


$47.46 


Small (N= 14) 


$938.21 


$41,356.24 


$113.30 



Summary and Conclusions 

Although the availability of workload measures for Montana county jails are not as readily 
available as for law enforcement and District court activities, Montana data available from the 
national Census of Local Jails, 1988 does reveal some of the costs of processing individuals 
through the county jails. Generally, the per-diem expenditures to house an individual in a 
county jail in Montana can be used to determine the financial impact of pre-trial detention as 
well as to determine if incarceration post-conviction in a county jail is more cost effective than 
probation, electronic monitoring, or other alternatives to non-secure detention. One thing that 
appears clear from the data analyzed and presented is that smaller county jails have considerably 
higher per-annum costs than do larger jails. Again, this appears to be due to economies-of- 
scale. 



20 



V. PER-DIEM, PER-ANNUM AND PER-SENTENCE EXPENDITURES FOR PRISON 
AND PROBATION SENTENCES IN MONTANA 



Overview of Methodology and Assumptions 

As discussed in the chapter on costs associated with processing offenders through a county jail, 
estimating per-annum and per-diem per-inmate expenditures for prison and probation operations 
is a fairly simple process. 

Per-Diem and Per-Annum Prison Expenditures Per-Inmate 

Data on per-inmate, per-diem prison expenditures are available from the Montana Department 
of Corrections and Human Services. In their annual report, the Montana Department of 
Corrections and Human Services calculates and presents the per-inmate, per-diem expenditures 
for the Montana State Prison, the Swan River Forest Camp, and the Women's Correctional 
Center.* Table 23 below presents these per-diem and per-annum expenditures. 



Table 23 

Per-Diem and Per-Annum Expenditures for 

Montana's Prison System, 1991 





Per-Diem 


Per-Annum 


Montana State Prison 


$35.71 


$13,034 


Swan River Forest Camp 


$47.38 


$17,294 


Women's Correctional Center 


$45.05 


$16,443 



Per-Prison Sentence and Length of Stay Expenditures 

One of the ways that the per-diem and per-annum expenditures can be used to determine the cost 
per offender is to multiply these operating costs by the length of prison sentences imposed on 
offenders in Montana and the length of time the average inmate stays in prison. Since most 
inmates are sentenced to and stay in prison for more than one fiscal year, measuring costs only 
on an annual basis does not reveal much in terms of per-case processing costs. 

Based on the Department of Corrections and Human Services' Corrections Division Report 1988- 



' Department of Corrections and Human Services, Corrections Division Report 1988-1991, 
January 1992. 

21 



1991, in 1991 the average sentence length of those admitted to prison in Montana in 1991 was 
126 months. Since the average prison sentence length imposed on females in Montana was 
lower than that imposed on males, 10.7 years compared to 7.7, but incarceration costs were 
higher for females. Table 24 below presents the per-sentence cost for both male and female 
prison inmates in Montana. As can be seen in Table 24, at an annual cost of $13,034 to 
incarcerate a male offender in the Montana State Prison and an average sentence length of 10.7 
years, the per-sentence cost is more than $139,000. Even though the average sentence length 
imposed on females in Montana is 28 percent lower than that given to males, because the per- 
annum expenditures to incarcerate a female are higher, the per-prison sentence expenditure for 
females of $126,611 is only 10 percent lower than that for male inmates. 



Table 24 

Per-Prison Sentence Expenditures 
in Montana, 1991 





Per-Sentence Expenditures 


Male 


$139,464 


Female 


$126,611 



However, because of parole, the average length of time an inmate actually stays in prison is 
lower than the length of the sentence originally imposed. For example, those male inmates 
released in 1991 spent an average of 33.2 months in prison.* Thus, the average expenditure per- 
prison stay in Montana in 1991 was $36,060. If these inmates spent the entire length of time 
specified in their original sentence, the average expenditure per-prison incarceration would have 
been more than 250 percent higher (Table 24) than it actually was. The average length of stay 
for female inmates released in 1991 was 19.2 months, which when multiplied by the annual per- 
female inmate expenditures results in a per-prison incarceration expenditure of $27,670 per- 
inmate. 

Included in the length of time an inmate serves incarcerated in prison is the amount of time an 
inmate spends in a pre-release center. In 1991, the annual per-offender expenditures for pre- 
release centers averaged $13,666 per year, or $37.44 per day, just slightly higher than the 
institutional cost to incarcerate male inmates. 

Also, once an inmate is released from the Montana State Prison, there is a period when they are 
supervised and monitored in the community (e.g., parole). Annual per-offender parole 
expenditures in 1991 were $481.11. 



*The sentence length of those admitted in 1991 should not be compared to the length of stay 
of those released in 1991 to determine the proportion of prison sentences served. 



22 



Probation Supervision 

Also presented in the Montana Department of Corrections and Human Services' Corrections 
Division Report 1988-1991 report are annual per-offender probation expenditures. In 1991, the 
annual cost to supervise an offender on probation was $481.11.^ Because data on the average 
length of probation sentences in Montana are not readily available, the average length of 
probation sentences imposed in a sample of counties across the United States was used. In 1988, 
the mean probation sentence length was 43 months, or slightly more than 3.58 years {Felony 
Sentences In State Courts, 1988, p. 3). Applying this average probation sentence length to the 
annual per-probationer expenditures in Montana, on average it costs $1,724 to place an offender 
on general or standard probation. 



Summary and Conclusions 

Although not unique to Montana, it is clear from the data presented that incarceration is the most 
expensive component of the processing of an offender through the Montana criminal justice 
system, and probation is one of the least expensive correctional sanctions that can be applied to 
an offender. One of the costs which is not included in the per-inmate prison expenditures are 
the capital costs and debt financing associated with building and renovating prisons. 



^ Because parole and probation activities are carried out and financed by the same agency, 
these costs are combined. Therefore, per-offender annual parole and probation expenditures are 
the same. 

23 



VI. COMBINED COSTS TO PROCESS AN OFFENDER THROUGH THE MONTANA 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM 



Bringing together all of these justice system component transaction costs results in the total cost 
associated with processing an average offender through the criminal justice system in Montana. 
The two ends of the spectrum, in terms of case complexity and processing, are presented in 
Table 25. If the offense and processing were simple, meaning the defendant commits an offense 
investigated by a local law enforcement agency, is processed minimally in a county jail (e.g., 
booked), does not use the services of the public defender, pleads guilty, and is sentenced to 
probation, the per-case expenditure would average just over $4,000. However, if the defendant 
were incarcerated the entire period from arrest to a finding of guilt through a jury trial, was 
indigent (and therefore was provided indigent defense services), and was sentenced to prison, 
the average per-case expenditures would total $45,312. 

Table 25 

Combined Per-Offender, Per-Transaction Costs to Process an 

Offender Through the Montana Criminal Justice System 





Simple 


Complex 


]nw Enforcement 
Costs 


$561 


$561 


District Court Costs 


$1,511 


$2,991 


Jail/Pre-Trial 
Incarceration Costs 


$251 


$5,700 


Correctional Costs 


$1,724 


$36,060 


Total Costs 


$4,047 


$45,312 



24 



Vn. APPENDIX 



25 



Figure 1 



19 92 Per-Capita Expenditures by 
Montana's County Sheriffs 




$0 $20 $40 $60 $80 $100 $120 $140 $160 $180 $200 

Per-Copila Expenditures 



Figure 2 



1992 Per-Offense Expenditures by 
Montana's County Sheriffs 




$1,000 $2,000 $3,000 $4,000 $5,000 

Per-Offense Expenditures 



$6. 000 $7. 000 



26 



Figure 3 



1992 Per-Arrest Expenditures by 
Montana's County Sherlfts 




$15 $20 $25 

Per-Arrest Expenditures 

(Thousands) 



$40 



Figure 4 



1992 Per-Caplta Expenditures by 
Montana's Municipal Police 




- «a.jii i iiMi . n.j^j^.;^.^.ji.j.;i.j|..n.jiMt^.n.j . ji. Jy ^l^■^ ■ Jl^a■J^ ■ M.a■lly^;W^^^^J^^^^^Jt^^f^■a^:^|^^l^■l^^^:^l^^M■^l^lfJ^■ly^^ ICIfll^lli^Ji aamM 



$0 



$50 $100 $150 $200 

Per-Capito Expenditures 



$250 



$300 



27 



Figure 5 



1992 Per-Offense Expenditures by 
Montana's Municipal Police 




1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 

Per-Offense Expenditures 



7000 8000 9000 



Figure 6 



1992 Per-Arrest Expenditures by 
Montana's Municipal Police 




$e $8 

Per-Arres) Expenditures 
(Thousands) 



28 



Rgure 7 



Per-Capita Expenditures by Montana's 
Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 199 2 




$100 $150 $200 

Per-Capita Expenditures 



$300 



Figure 8 



Per-Offense Expenditures by Montana's 
Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 1992 




$1,000 $2,000 



$3,000 $4,000 $5,000 $6,000 $7,000 $8,000 $9,000 
Per-Offense Expenditures 



29 



Figure 9 



Per-Arrest Expenditures by Montana's 
Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 1992 



S — Wwghled A'arag« 




$0 



$30 $40 

Per-Arrest Expenditures 
(Thousonds) 



$60 



30 



Figure 10 



Per-Filing District Court Expenditures 
in Montana, 1991 




$500 $1,000 $1,500 $2,000 $2,500 $3,000 $3,500 

Per-Filing Expenditures 



Figure 11 



Per-Disposition District Court 
Expenditures in Montana, 199 1 




$1,000 $1,500 

Per -Disposition Expenditures 



$2, 000 



$2. 500 



31 



Figure 12 



Per -Criminal Filing District Court 
Court Reporter Expenditures, 1991 




$0 $50 $100 $150 $200 $250 $300 $550 $400 

Per-Criminol Filing Expenditures 



Figure 13 



Per-Criminal Disposition District Court 
Court Reporter Expenditures, 1991 




$150 $200 $250 $300 

Per-Criminol Disposition Expenditures 



$450 



32 



Figure 14 



Per-Criminal Filing District Court 
Witness Expenditures, 1991 




$0 



$20 



$40 



$60 $80 $100 $120 $140 

Per-Criminal Filing Expenditures 



$160 $180 



$200 



Figure 15 



Per-Criminal Disposition District Court 
Witness Expenditures, 1991 




$0 



$so 



$100 $150 $200 $250 

Per-Criminal Disposition Expenditures 



$300 



$350 



33 



Figure 16 



Per -Criminal Filing District Court 
Psychiatric Exam. Expenditures, 1991 




»'00 $150 $200 $250 

Per -Criminal Filing Expenditures 



$300 



$350 



Figure 17 



Per-Criminal Disposition District Court 
Psychiatric Exam. Expenditures, 199 1 




J150 $200 $250 $300 $350 

Per -Criminal Disposition Expenditures 



$400 



$450 



34 



Figure 18 



Per-Criminal Filing District Court 
Jury Expenditures, 199 1 




$100 tiso 

Per-Criminal Filing Expenditures 



$250 



Figure 19 



Per-Criminal Disposition District Court 
Jury Expenditures, 1991 




$100 $150 $200 

Per-Criminal Disposition Expenditures 



$300 



35 



Figure 20 



Per -Jury Disposition District Court 
Jury Expenditures, 1991 




$1,000 $1,500 

Per-Jury Disposition Expenditures 



$2. 000 



$2. 500 



36 



Figure 21 



Per -Criminal Filing District Court 
Indigent Defense Expenditures, 199 1 




$0 



$200 



$400 $600 $800 $1, 000 

Per-Criminal FHing Expenditures 



$1. 200 



$1. 400 



Figure 22 



Per-Criminal Disposition District Court 
Indigent Defense Expenditures, 199 1 




$0 



$200 



$400 



$600 $800 $1,000 $1,200 $1,400 

Per-Criminal Disposition Expenditures 



$1,600 $1 



800 



37 



Figure 23 



Per-Crimind Filing District Court 
Prosecution Expenditures, 1991 




$2 



i* 



$6 $8 $10 $12 

Per-Criminal Filing Expenditures 

(Thousands) 



$U 



$16 



$18 



Figure 24 



Per-Criminal Disposition District Court 
Prosecution Expenditures, 199 1 




$2 



$< $6 $8 

Per-Criminal Disposition Expenditures 

(Thousands) 



$10 



$12 



38 



Figure 25 



Annual Per-lnmate Expenditures In 
Montana County Jails, 1988 




$40 $60 $80 $)00 $120 $140 

Annual Per -Inmate Expenditures 
(Ttwusonds) 



$160 



Figure 26 



Daily Per-lnmate Expenditures in 
Montana County Jails, 19 88 




$0 $50 $100 $150 $200 $250 $300 $J50 $400 $450 

Doily Per-lnmote Expenditures 



39 



Figure 27 



Per -Admission Expenditures in Montana 
County Jails, 1 988 




$1,000 



$2, 000 $3. 000 U. 000 

Per-Admission Expenditures 



$5, 000 



$6. 000 



Figure 28 



Per-Admission Expenditures in Montana 
County Jails, 1 988 



$1,000 



« 

C 

a. 



E 

< 
I 



$750 



$500 



$250 



$0 







»■ ♦ * + ♦ ♦ li^ftSi 



Lo-ge (N=15) 

Size Based 



Medium (N=15) 
on Number of 


















Smal (N=U) 
Admissions 



40 



Figure 29 



Annual Per-lnmate Expenditures 
In Montana County Jails, 1988 




Larg« (N=15) 
Size 



Medium (N=15) 
Based on Number of 



Smol (N=14) 
Admissions 



Figure 30 



$120- 



Daily Per-lnmate Expenditures 
in Montana County Jails, 1988 



$100- 



$80- 



^ teo- 



■D 

c 
« 
a. 

X 
LJ 

9 

O 

E 

c 
I 

« 
a. 



o 

o 



$40- 



$20- 



$0- 






■'-■''■'Mm 












lf *' AL '* v * v * v * v *' A '*' . 4 










L<rge(N=15) Medium (N=15) Smdl (N=U) 

Size Based on Number of Admissions 



41 



Vm. BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Montana Board of Crime Control, Crime in Montana, 1988 through 1992. 

Montana Department of Corrections and Human Services, Corrections Division Report ■ Fiscal 
Years 1989-1991, January 1992. 

Montana Office of the Court Administrator, Annual Report of the Montana Judicial System 1988 
through 1992. 

Montana Office of the Governor, Governor's Executive Budget: Fiscal Years 1994-1995 
December 1992. 

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Felony Semences in State Courts 1988 
December 1990. 

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Expenditure and Employment Data for 
the CriminalJustice System: Individual Units File, 1988 Computer File. Conducted by the U.S 
Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. ICPSR ed. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university 
Consortium for Political and Social Research producer and distiibuter, 1991. 

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Jail Census, 1988- U S 
Computer FUe. 2nd ICPSR ed. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for' Political and 
Social Research producer and distributer, 1990. 

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Jail Census 1983- U S 
Computer File. 2nd ICPSR ed. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for' Political and 
Social Research producer and distiibuter, 1990. 



42 



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