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American porridge

Blog | By James Fletcher | Jul 18, 2020


New York’s main jail complex Rikers Island was opened in 1932 and has been the subject of various controversies over the years - mostly concerning the abuse and neglect of prisoners. Last year the New York City Council voted to close it by 2026. It operates on a budget of $860m per year. In reality the cost is far higher as outside agencies contribute to costs such as healthcare, employee benefits, legal judgements, and other claims. According to the Vera Institute of Justice, the true annual cost of incarceration per prisoner is a staggering $209,000. Rikers houses 10,000 prisoners and is staffed by 9,500 employees. Most guests are on remand.