With overcrowded jails posing a crisis in many parts of the U.S., local authorities often resort to a simple solution: Build bigger facilities. But taxpayers asked to approve new jail bonds should beware of the “collateral costs” of jail expansion,
The Overuse of Jails Hurts Our Communities
The primary purpose of jails is to detain those awaiting trial who are a danger to public safety or a flight risk. Jailing someone who is neither results in huge costs for families and communities—particularly communities of color—including lost income, parents separated from their children, untreated mental health and substance abuse problems, a greater risk of re-offending, and wasted taxpayer dollars.
A total of 191 applications were submitted to the Challenge from jurisdictions spanning 45 states. Meet the 52 that were selected to participate in the Challenge Network.
When a person is charged with a crime, or issued a traffic ticket, they might be ordered to appear in court. If they don’t show up, however, that violation—known as a failure to appear (FTA)—could result in fines, criminal charges,