A Pew Charitable Trusts report shows health-care spending on prison inmates in Arkansas more than doubled from 2001 to 2008.
The report released Tuesday says Arkansas spent $4,900 per inmate in 2008 — up from $2,362 in 2001. Researchers relied on numbers from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics and 2008 was the most recent year available.
Correctional health care spending in the 44 states examined grew by an average of 52 percent. The report says states can combat the rising costs by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, outsourcing and other measures.
Expanding Medicaid wouldn't cover health care in prisons, but treatment provided to prisoners at hospitals would be eligible for Medicaid reimbursement.
Critics say states shouldn't transfer the responsibility for prisoner care onto the federal government.