NYC News

NYC Spends Millions Jailing the Same Homeless and Mentally Ill People Over and Over – Andy Cush

For New York City’s most frequently jailed people, the cycle probably goes something like this: You’re homeless, or mentally ill, or addicted to drugs. Maybe all three. Those three factors are so tightly wound together that it’s difficult to tell the causes from the effects. You get picked up for sleeping on the street, and police find a crack rock in your pocket, so you go to jail. A little while later, you get out, and a little while after that, you get picked up again. Back to jail it is.

The American Journal of Public Health published a study of the 800 most frequently incarcerated people between 2008 and 2013 in the New York City jail system, and found that few of them are what you’d call hardened criminals. Eighty-eight percent of the detentions had a misdemeanor as the top charge, the Wall Street Journal reports, and small-time drug possession and petit larceny together made up over half of those misdemeanors. If appeals to humanity don’t sway you, consider the finances: The city has spent $129 million on those 800 detainees alone, according to the report.

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Categories: NYC News

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