Fact: Los Angeles County recently approved a $2 billion project for a new 4,860 bed county jail to be built by a private contractor.
Fact: 3,260 of the beds – 67 percent – are intended for those suffering from mental illnesses.
Fact: About 75% of inmates with mental illnesses are re-incarcerated into L.A. county jails – almost four times the rate of comparable cities, like Miami, which has a recidivism rate among the mentally ill of 20%.
Fact: In L.A. county, it costs $20,412/year to support a person with mental illness in a housing program.
Fact: In L.A. county, it costs about $60,000/year to incarcerate a person with mental illness.
Source: L.A. County Jail Plan is a $2 Billion Blunder That Embraces Incarceration, Not Treatment, for Mentally Ill, LA Weekly.
Fact: According to Department of Justice statistics, 67.8% of former prisoners are re-arrested for a new crime within three years.
Fact: 76.6% of former prisoners are re-arrested for a new crime within five years.
Source: Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Fact: Youth in adult prisons are 19 times as likely to commit suicide as youth in the general population and 36 times as likely to commit suicide as youth in a juvenile detention facility.
Fact: Youth in adult prisons comprise a disproportionately high percentage of prisoner-on-prisoner violence.
Fact: Both the Centers for Disease Control and Department of Justice have concluded that prosecuting youths as adults has little or no deterrent on youth crime.
Fact: Transferring youth to adult prisons increases their recidivism rate by more than 30%.
Fact: 40% of adult jails provide no education services at all.
Source: Fact Sheet, Campaign for Youth Justice
Facts: “We live in a country today where we face serious criminal justice problems. We have 12 million arrests every single year. The vast majority of those arrests are for low-level crimes, like misdemeanors, 70 to 80 percent. Less than five percent of all arrests are for violent crime. Yet we spend 75 billion, that’s b for billion, dollars a year on state and local corrections costs. Right now, today, we have 2.3 million people in our jails and prisons. And we face unbelievable public safety challenges because we have a situation in which two thirds of the people in our jails are there waiting for trial. They haven’t yet been convicted of a crime. They’re just waiting for their day in court. And 67 percent of people come back. Our recidivism rate is amongst the highest in the world. Almost seven in 10 people who are released from prison will be rearrested in a constant cycle of crime and incarceration.”
Source: Anne Milgram, Arnold Foundation, TED talk