Think Outside The Box
How Would You Change the System?
Our criminal justice system should keep communities safe, treat people fairly, be cost-effective, and use our taxpayer dollars and public resources wisely. Are there choices we can make to reduce the jail and prison populations, save money, and improve public safety? Can you Think Outside the Box?Start Now!
Prison overcrowding by the numbers
The United States, with less than 5% of the world's population, has nearly 25% of the world’s incarcerated population. California houses one of the largest incarcerated populations in the U.S.
We spend nearly $50,000 each year for every adult we lock up in state prison and about $25,000 each year for every adult we lock up in a county jail. Every dollar we spend on incarceration is a dollar that is not spent on real public safety solutions, education, or social services.
The State prison system makes up the largest share of state criminal justice spending. The Adult Division of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation employs over 24,000 staff, most of whom are correctional officers at an average salary of over $60,000.
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ABOUT THE ACLU
The ACLU of California works daily in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the rights and liberties that the Constitution's Bill of Rights guarantees to everyone in this country.
We aim to extend these freedoms to members of our communities who have traditionally been denied their rights, including people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people; women; mental health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor.
WHERE DO THESE NUMBERS COME FROM?
This is a budgeting simulation. Budget impact amounts for each policy option have been simplified and adjusted to meet the needs of this online exercise.