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City Comptroller: It costs $337,000 per inmate at Rikers Island

Posted at 8:11 AM, Dec 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-06 08:33:07-05

RIKERS ISLAND, N.Y. — Shocking statistics shows just how much money it costs to run Rikers Island.

As New York City’s Chief Financial Officer, City Comptroller Scott Stringer uncovered that the full cost of an incarcerated person has drastically increased since 2014.

“There’s a record per person inmate cost,” Stringer said.

In 2019, it costs about $337,524 per inmate, or $925 a day per inmate.

“We are spending in the wrong direction,” Stringer said, comparing the cost of spending for a student’s education, which is about $30,000.

Although there’s an 11% decrease in populations at jails, there is a 79% increase in the amount of violence in jails.

Who is paying for all of this? Taxpayers.

“Taxpayers are funding it, but taxpayers are not getting the value,” according to Stringer.

Stringer also discusses closing Rikers and opening borough-based prisons.

With bail reform, Stringer says it may benefit the city, as the prison population would decrease.

How do you fix it? “You manage it. You get things done.”