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Jails - Personnel And Costs

local percent justice staff

Given the unprecedented expansion of local, state, and federal imprisonment since around 1975, corrections has turned into a huge enterprise. In 1994, local jails employed an estimated 205,426 persons in various capacities (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1995). That same year, local governments spent over $11.1 billion to operate the nation's jails (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1998). Excluding capital expenditures, the average cost to keep one jail inmate incarcerated for one year was $19,903 in 1997. Gender, race, and ethnicity of jail officers and staff reflected the following patterns in 1997: 71.6 percent were male, 28.4 percent were female. Less than 22 percent of local corrections staff was African American. Hispanics, Asian, and other racial minorities were seriously underrepresented when compared to their numbers in the general population (Criminal Justice Institute).

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