Hidden costs make jails far more expensive than previously understood, according to a report by the Vera Institute of Justice. The report shows that while the U.S. Department of Justice estimated that local communities spent $22.2 billion on jails in 2011, that figure fails to take into account significant costs such as employee benefits and inmate medical care that may not be included in jail budgets. The report was supported by MacArthur through the Safety and Justice Challenge, which seeks to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails.
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