How much does your jail cost? Maybe more than you think

by , May 21, 2015

Jails leverage the resources of other government agencies and these resources add to a county’s financial commitment to the jail, sometimes significantly, according to Vera Institute of Justice’s new report The Price of Jails: Measuring the Taxpayer Cost of Local Incarceration.

This report, similar to The Price of Prisons that investigated state correctional costs, examines all of the costs of jails including those outside the jail budget that are funded by other county departments.


Inmate calling rates: Are all costs and benefits being considered?

by , March 14, 2013

In December the Federal Communications Commission released a notice of proposed rulemaking for interstate inmate calling services. The question before the FCC is whether to issue new incentives and/or regulations to ensure “just and reasonable” telephone rates for individuals at correctional facilities. In the United States, incarcerated adults are typically limited to making collect calls or debit calls (with charges deducted from an account).


Guest blog post: Investing in pretrial services programs and the need for CBA

by , June 30, 2011
Peggy McGarry

Peggy McGarry

Peggy McGarry is the director of the Center on Sentencing and Corrections at the Vera Institute of Justice, the parent organization of CBKB.

Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections is working with two very different counties to help create pretrial services programs that are rooted in sound, research-based practices.


Resources for conducting CBAs of pretrial detention and release options

by , June 29, 2011

Consult the following resources to help you gauge the costs and benefits of pretrial detention and pretrial release options.

1.     Developing a cost-benefit framework

Roger Bowles and Mark Cohen. Pre-Trial Detention: A Cost-Benefit Approach. New York: Open Society Justice Institute, 2008.

Refer to this methodological study for a comprehensive list of costs and benefits to consider in a CBA of pretrial release.


Guest blog post: A reflection on the costs and outcomes of the Jefferson County Bail Project

by , June 28, 2011
Mike Jones

Mike Jones

Michael Jones is the criminal justice planning manager for the Jefferson County, Colorado, Criminal Justice Planning Unit (CJP), an agency responsible for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the county’s justice system. In 2007, amidst growing concern about the fairness and cost-effectiveness of the county’s money bail system, Jones and his colleagues began working with local government officials to develop the Jefferson County Bail Project.


Assessing the costs and benefits of pretrial services programs

by , June 27, 2011

A recent post on the blog discusses reforming pretrial detention as a way to decrease—and not just redistribute—the number of people who are incarcerated. An effective pretrial services program could help judges determine which defendants can be safely released, monitor released individuals to ensure their court appearance, and potentially save taxpayers’ money by reducing the jail population.


CBKB’s June focus: Pretrial detention

by , June 2, 2011

This month, CBKB highlights information about the costs and benefits of pretrial detention, release, and services. Since the 1990s, the U.S. jail population has doubled from 400,000 to nearly 800,000, and pretrial detainees—those for whom a determination of guilt or innocence has not yet been made—account for three-quarters of this increase.