Mass murderer and cult leader Charles Manson stayed in prison for almost five decades until his natural death on November 19. His 46 years of imprisonment cost American taxpayers approximately $1 million to $1.7 million, said Lucinda Shen, a journalist with Fortune.
Citing official data from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), Shen estimated that the state of California spent $1.7 million for each prisoner between 1971 and 2017.
While the cost per prisoner differs from one person to another, this amount includes the total cost of the prison system per year divided by the population in prison.
What Americans Pay for Manson’s Incarceration
American taxpayers paid for Charles Manson’s three meals per day, 24-hour guard supervision, and medical care.
Manson’s cost of imprisonment may have gone up because he was incarcerated in the Protective Housing Unit at California State Prison-Corcoran.
The Protective Housing unit is being used to house famous prisoners to ensure their safety.
Taxpayers also footed the bill for Manson’s medical care due to his poor health. Los Angeles Times reported in January that the cult leader was hospitalized in Bakersfield due to his gastrointestinal problems.
Cost Could Have Been Higher if Manson is on Death Row
If Charles Manson was on death row, the cost of his stay in prison would have been higher.
A 2011 study that examined death row expenses found that the cost of keeping death row prisoners was 20 times more expensive than the cost of sustaining life sentence inmates.
For instance, state laws require California to pay lawyers of death row inmates up to $300,000 for every appeal.
Facts About Famous Prisoner Charles Manson
Charles Manson committed a series of atrocious murders in the 1960s. He gained many followers called the Manson family.
In August 1969, the cult leader and his followers killed seven people for two nights in Southern California. Prosecutors think Manson may have influenced his drugged followers to execute more horrible murders.
Manson and three of his followers were tried in Los Angeles in 1970.
He was convicted of seven murders orchestrated by Manson Family. He served nine life terms in California prisons. He was denied parole 12 times.
Manson was sentenced to death in 1971 but was later removed from death row due to the state’s revocation of the death penalty in 1972.