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Anne Milgrim: Why Smart Statistics Are the Key to Fighting Crime

This article is very insightful and interesting in understanding the data behind prisoners.

“All of this matters greatly, because public safety to me is the most important function of government. If we’re not safe, we can’t be educated, we can’t be healthy, we can’t do any of the other things we want to do in our lives. And we live in a country today where we face serious criminal justice problems. We have 12 million arrests every single year. The vast majority of those arrests are for low-level crimes, like misdemeanors, 70 to 80 percent. Less than five percent of all arrests are for violent crime. Yet we spend 75 billion, that’s b for billion, dollars a year on state and local corrections costs.Right now, today, we have 2.3 million people in our jails and prisons. And we face unbelievable public safety challenges because we have a situation in which two thirds of the people in our jails are there waiting for trial. They haven’t yet been convicted of a crime. They’re just waiting for their day in court.And 67 percent of people come back. Our recidivism rate is amongst the highest in the world. Almost seven in 10 people who are released from prison will be rearrested in a constant cycle of crime and incarceration.


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