More than one in 100 adult Americans is in jail or prison, an all-time high that is costing state governments nearly $50 billion a year, in addition to more than $5 billion spent by the federal government, according to a report released today. The new report by Pew's Public Safety Performance Project details how, for the first time in history, more than one in every 100 adults in America are in jail or prison—a fact that significantly impacts state budgets without delivering a clear return on public safety.
With 1 in 31 American adults in prison, jail, on parole or probation, the US prison system is in crisis.
Hundreds of prisons nationwide are overcrowded to the breaking point, and high recidivism rates are largely to blame: 39 percent of prisoners have served three or more sentences. This cycling in and out of prisons is taking a devastating economic toll on already-vulnerable urban communities. At this critical moment, policymakers and experts are determined to come together and develop concrete solutions to making sure that people who leave prison do not reoffend and go back.
A report focusing on strategies that cities can use to tackle these problems will be released in the weeks following the summit.
WHO: The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM)
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