U.S. Wasted $3.4 Trillion On Mass Incarceration And Criminalization Instead Of Prioritizing Education, Jobs, Housing, Public Health, And Environment

Publication date: 
November, 2016
Source(s): 
Revinvest for Justice

U.S. Wasted $3.4 Trillion On Mass Incarceration And Criminalization Instead Of Prioritizing Education, Jobs, Housing, Public Health, And Environment

Communities United, Make the Road New York, and Padres & Jóvenes Unidos have just released a new report, "The $3.4 Trillion Mistake: The Cost of Mass Incarceration and Criminalization, and How Justice Reinvestment Can Build a Better Future for All," detailing how the U.S.’s misguided criminal justice policies wasted $3.4 trillion over the last three decades that could have instead been used to more effectively address the root causes of crime and meet critical community needs.

The report provides a national and state-by-state analysis of the country’s investments in police, prisons, jails, prosecutors, and immigration enforcement. It shows that, from 1982 to 2012, the U.S. increased its spending on the justice system from $90 billion annually to nearly $297 billion, a 229% increase. Cumulatively, over that 30-year period, the U.S. spent $3.4 trillion more on the justice system than it would have if spending had remained steady since 1982...

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