Annual Cost of Jailing NYC Inmate Hits Record $337K

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A study of jail costs by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer found the yearly cost of incarceration for a single inmate reached its highest level ever in the year ending June 30, despite a declining jail population,  reports the Wall Street Journal. New York City spends $337,524 to incarcerate one person for a full year, or roughly $925 a day. That figure represents an 85 percent increase since 2014, when the daily cost of incarceration stood at $499. Stringer said the rising  incarceration cost could be attributed to a number of factors, including high staffing costs, including overtime. “Management has not been a strong point at the Department of Correction and that comes with a significant financial cost,” he said. Stringer said waste and violence have long plagued the city’s jail system, which is in the midst of a sweeping overhaul by the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio. Population levels in city jails continued to fall in 2019, extending a trend that is expected to continue with court reforms, including the elimination of cash bail for many crimes starting next year and diversion programs.  The city’s average jail population stood at 7,938 inmates in fiscal 2019, a decline of 41 percent over the decade.

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