Overview

In *Budget End Year*, *county* spent a total of *Total Jail Expenditures FY2019_F1* *Number of Jails*.*Footnote_Number of Jails* This represents *Percent of County Budget Spent on Jail FY2019_F* percent of the county’s total budget and approximately *Jail Cost Per Resident FY2019_F* per county resident.*Footnote_Total Budget**Jail Spending Over Time*

From *Budget Start Year* to *Budget End Year*, *state_name*’s jail incarceration rate increased *Increase in Incarceration Rate_State* percent. With the rise of mass incarceration, poor and working people—whether white, Black, or brown—have been harmed by a justice system that criminalizes poverty. Black and brown communities in particular have been disproportionately criminalized and incarcerated. In 2015, Black people in *state_name* were jailed at *Black to white incarceration 2015_State* times the rate of white people. Put differently, Black people made up *Black share of resident population_State* percent of county residents but *Black share of jail population_State* percent of the jail population. Typically, Latinx people are also disproportionately incarcerated but often underrepresented or misrepresented in data. The number of women in *state_name* jails has increased *Change in female jail population_State_F* percent, from *Female jail population 1980_State* women in jail in 1980 to *Female jail population 2019_State* in 2019. *Female Jail Population*

From decarceration to reinvestment

County budgets can be opaque documents that are difficult to compare. Budgets include the authorized expenditures and anticipated revenues (money coming in from taxes, fines, fees, charges for services, state and federal transfers, etc.). A county’s budget supports community services and infrastructure like sanitation, parks, libraries, roads, courts, and incarceration. Spending on the local jail primarily comes from a city or county’s local revenues, except in counties that house large numbers of people for other prisons and jails. Counties typically get paid a per diem rate for each person they house on behalf of another authority, effectively creating a market for jail beds and tying county revenue to continued incarceration. In these places, payments from other governments can make up a significant proportion of jail spending; reducing the local jail population without reducing the number of people held for other authorities will have a limited impact on the jail budget. *Total Revenue from Other Authorities*.

Since counties bear the cost of incarcerating people held under local authority—who include unconvicted people awaiting trial and people serving out misdemeanor sentences locally—reducing the local jail population would lead to an immediate reduction in a county’s variable expenses. This could be achieved by reducing the use of pretrial detention, reducing or eliminating probation revocations, and reducing or eliminating jail sentences. In subsequent years, the opportunity to recalibrate the budget could lead to savings in fixed expenses. Ultimately, these savings could be redirected toward other types of investments that better promote community safety, including alternatives to incarceration, affordable housing, and treatment for mental illness and substance use​.

Calculate how much your county could save on jail spending

For each county, Vera has compiled fiscal year *Budget End Year* budget and jail spending data. Use the tools below to explore the data and calculate how much money your county could save by reducing jail incarceration.

Notes: This calculator is meant to capture cost savings generated by reducing the local jail population. It will not capture the fiscal impact of reducing the number of people that the jail is paid to incarcerate for other authorities. Vera estimates cost savings for three types of jail costs: (1) variable costs for food and supplies that are saved immediately as the jail population declines; (2) step-fixed costs for corrections officer salaries, which Vera estimates can be saved once 50 beds are taken offline; and (3) step-fixed costs for administrative staff and other operating expenses, which Vera assumes can be attained in stages when the jail population falls below 75, 50, and 25 percent of the current jail population. Jail cost savings are only estimated for counties that operate a full service jail. Read more about Vera’s methodology here.

Money injustice in *county*

*User Fees*

*Footnote_User Fees_C*