By Leslie Acevedo
LOS ANGELES, CA: The Vera Institute of Justice launched a new data pub providing comprehensive information on mass incarceration in California this week.
From 23 different sources, “California: The State of Incarceration” seeks to support evidence-based policy making and advocacy through transparent and accessible data at the state and county level,” notes the Vera Institute.
Insha Rahman, Vera’s vice president of advocacy and partnership, notes by providing policy makers, advocates, and the public with “[c]omprehensive data on incarceration, arrests, and spending, Californians can identify consequential interventions at the state and local level to change their criminal legal system for the better.”
California remains at the core of mass incarceration, in creating more prisoners than any state aside from Texas, agencies making more than 800,000 arrests, booking people into county jail more than 600,000 times, and sending about 35,000 people to prison, he added.
California is set to spend $18 billion on the criminal legal system, as in 2021 California “[c]ounties put $19 billion into policing, jails, probation, and the judicial system, while cities spent $14 billion on policing,” the institute said.
Michelle Paris, director of Vera California, said the data hub will serve as an essential resource for creating a more humane system in California and other states, arguing access to credible, comprehensive data is essential to produce concrete solutions centering racial equality and to bring expertise on top practices from around the country to local conversations in California.