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Report says Md. prison spending outpacing education budget

Chipped layers of paint peel from cell doors in the now-closed Men's Detention center in Baltimore City. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

Chipped layers of paint peel from cell doors in the now-closed Men’s Detention center in Baltimore City. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

The U.S. Department of Education has found that Maryland’s spending on prisons is growing at a rate that’s twice as fast as spending on education.

The Baltimore Sun reports that such an increase is not unique to Maryland. Nationally, state and local budgets for incarceration rose three times faster than school spending.

The report analyzed spending data from 1980 to 2013. During that time, Maryland’s incarcerated population rose from about 11,000 to nearly 34,000. The state’s population rose as well, but at a far slower rate.

The report comes at a time of increasing debate over the country’s incarceration rates, particularly for nonviolent offenders, and prison spending.