A Pew Charitable Trusts report says the cost of health care for prison inmates in Oklahoma bucked a national trend and fell by 6 percent from 2001 to 2008.
Tuesday's report says Oklahoma spent $3,935 per inmate in 2008 — down from $4,201 in 2001. Researchers used numbers from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics and 2008 was the most recent year available.
Overall prison health care spending in the 44 states examined rose by 52 percent. The report says states can combat the costs by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and other measures.
Expanding Medicaid wouldn't cover health care in prisons, but treatment of prisoners at hospitals would be eligible for Medicaid reimbursement.
Critics say states shouldn't transfer the responsibility for inmate care to the federal government.