The Human Toll of Jail

The Human Toll of Jail

The Human Toll of Jail is a storytelling project that features the voices of ordinary people—both those who are or have been caught up in local criminal justice systems, and those who work on their front lines. It aims to put a human face to the uses and abuses of jails in the United States, and along with every story, brings information about the research, policy analyses, and best practices to address the larger questions and issues. The Human Toll of Jail is presented by the Vera Institute of Justice with support from the Safety and Justice Challenge.

Stories

A Wave Forward

San Francisco hopes to lead the charge to address transgender inclusivity in the criminal justice system.

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David and Goliath

A Small City Police Department Takes Aim at a Monster Epidemic. Read full story.

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Beyond Diversion

An innovative alternative-to-jail program in Philadelphia focuses on young adult development. Read full story.

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Thunder in Oklahoma City

NBA team owner Clayton Bennett and allied business leaders are at the forefront of criminal justice reform. Read full story.

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Why Are There So Many People in Jail in Scranton, PA?

A deep-dive into poverty and a culture of local incarceration in one Rust Belt town.

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The Jail Without Bars

At one Idaho correctional facility, an innovative approach is built on a commitment to the site’s workers and an investment in the inmates’ success. The result is a jail that looks nothing like the ones you’ve seen on TV.

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Inmate Turned Advocate

After spending much of her young life bouncing between jail and prison, one New Orleans resident has found new purpose helping provide vital services to people who have been arrested, at a critical early juncture in the prosecution process.

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Inside the Massive Jail That Doubles As Chicago's Largest Mental Health Facility

Since drastic budget cuts left thousands of Chicagoans without access to reliable mental health care, all too many are getting their only real treatment when they land behind bars.

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Return to Rikers

After two decades of incarceration, Patrick went back to Rikers Island for the first time in 20 years—to visit his son.

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