A study of New York City jails revealed that the city spent a whopping $167,000 per inmate last year to house inmates. “The numbers provide a troubling statistical portrait of the more than 12,000 people in our city jails on a typical day last year, coming at a significant fiscal cost to the city and no doubt great social cost to families and communities,” said Doug Turetsky of the Independent Budget Office.
Turetsky told the New York Post that this figure also covers facility maintenance, fringe benefits and staff salaries. The study also revealed that the city had an average of 12,287 daily prisoners. According to former Vera Institute of Justice president and city correction commissioner Michael Jacobson, city incarceration numbers are way down since the 1990s. The Post says that in 1992, the average daily inmate "peaked at 21,000."
“Jail is an expensive proposition, which is why you want to use it only when you have to use it,” Jacobson added. He also says that this number is down because New York City has worked to offer adolescents other options besides jail.
That $167,000 per day still hurts, though.
[via New York Post]