Criminal Justice

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There are more than 3,000 jails in the United States, holding 731,000 people on any given day – more than the population of Detroit and nearly as many people as live in San Francisco – according to a report from the Vera Institute of Justice. The report, supported by MacArthur as part of its Safety and Justice Challenge initiative, provides an overview of the nation’s use and abuse of jails. It examines the characteristics of the people who typically cycle in and out of jails; some of the key policies that have contributed to the rise in the use of jail; and the impact of jail incarceration on individuals, families, and communities. The report also looks at key decision points where strategies can be adopted to decrease the misuse of jails within the American criminal justice system.

Criminal Justice, Justice, Research, United States