Thirty-three U.S. states and jurisdictions spend $100,000 or more annually to incarcerate a young person, and continue to generate outcomes that result in even greater costs, according to a new report released today by the Justice Policy Institute (JPI). The report, Sticker Shock: Calculating the Full Price Tag for Youth Incarceration, produced the first-ever estimate of the overall costs resulting from negative outcomes associated with incarceration, and found that these long-term consequences of incarcerating young people could cost taxpayers $8 billion to $21 billion each year.
“Every year, the majority of states spend $100,000 or more to lock up youth who are mostly imprisoned for troubled behavior or nonviolent offenses,” said Marc Schindler, executive director of Justice Policy Institute. “And compared to the huge long-term costs to young people, their families, victims, and taxpayers, that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. This is a poor investment and we must do better.”
The billions of dollars in hidden costs result from formerly incarcerated young people earning lower wages, paying less in taxes, as well as having a greater dependence upon government assistance and higher rates of recidivism. Research shows that the…
Originally posted on Justice Policy Institute
Read @ Justice Policy Institute