The cumulative risk of jail incarceration

Research on incarceration has focused on prisons, but jail detention is far more common than imprisonment. Jails are local institutions that detain people before trial or incarcerate them for short sentences for low-level offenses. Research from the 1970s and1980s viewed jails as “managing the rabble,” a small and deeply disadvantaged segment of urban populations that struggled with problems of addiction, mental illness, and homelessness. The1990s and 2000s marked a period of mass criminalization in which new styles of policing and court processing produced large numbers of criminal cases for minor crimes, concentrated in low-income communities of color. In a period of widespread criminal justice contact for minor offenses, how common is jail incarceration for minority men, particularly in poor neighborhoods? We estimate cumulative risks of jail incarceration with an administrative data file that records all jail admissions and discharges in New York City from 2008 to 2017. Although New York has a low jail incarceration rate, we find that 26.8% of Black men and 16.2% of Latino men, in contrast to only 3% of White men, in New York have been jailed by age 38 y. We also find evidence of high rates of repeated incarceration among Black men and high incarceration risks in high-poverty neighborhoods. Despite the jail’s great reach in New York, we also find that the incarcerated population declined in the study period, producing a large reduction in the prevalence of jail incarceration for Black and Latino men.

Access the report HERE

Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2020

This report offers some much needed clarity by piecing together this country’s disparate systems of confinement. The American criminal justice system holds almost 2.3 million people in 1,833 state prisons, 110 federal prisons, 1,772 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,134 local jails, 218 immigration detention facilities, and 80 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the U.S. territories.

This report provides a detailed look at where and why people are locked up in the U.S., and dispels some modern myths to focus attention on the real drivers of mass incarceration, including exceedingly punitive responses to even the most minor offenses.

Pie chart showing the number of people locked up on a given day in the United States by facility type and the underlying offense using the newest data available in March 2020.

Pie chart showing the number of people locked up on a given day in the United States in jails, by convicted and not convicted status, and by the underlying offense, as well as those held in jails for other agencies, using the newest data available in March 2020.

Graph showing the number of youth incarcerated in the United States by offense and whether or not they are incarcerated with adults.

California Gave Billions in Taxpayer Dollars to Improve Jails. But That’s Not How These Sheriffs Are Spending It. — ProPublica

California has given counties more than $8 billion to handle thousands of new inmates. But lax spending rules and limited scrutiny have allowed some sheriffs to use that money for other things, which may violate state law.
— Read on www.propublica.org/article/california-gave-billions-in-taxpayer-dollars-to-improve-jails-but-thats-now-how-these-sheriffs-are-spending-it