VERA’s report on “The Misuse of Jails in America”
On any given day in the United States there are 731,000 people sitting in more than 3,000 jails. Despite the country growing safer—with violent crime down 49 percent and property crime down 44 percent from their highest points more than 20 years ago—annual admissions to jails nearly doubled between 1983 and 2013 from six million to 11.7 million, a number equivalent to the combined populations of Los Angeles and New York City and nearly 20 times the annual admissions to state and federal prisons. Not only are more people ending up in jail today compared to three decades ago, those who get there are spending more time behind bars, with the average length of stay increasing from 14 days to 23 days.
Click here to download the entire report.