Report: Annual NYC inmate cost exceeds four years at Harvard

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September 30, 2013 by socialaction2014

Prison Reform Movement's Weblog- America: Land of the Free, Home of the Incarcerated

Average cost per inmate — $167,731 a year — is more than four years of Ivy League tuition

Rikers Island
The Rikers Island penitentiary complex, which costs New York City hundreds of millions of dollars annually to run.
Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

A recent report found that jailing an inmate in New York City for one year costs more than four years of tuition at an Ivy League university.

The Independent Budget Office found that in 2012 it cost the city $167,731 to hold each of its daily average of 12,287 inmates, or about $460 per inmate per day.

Undergraduate tuition at Harvard University is $38,891 annually, or $155,564 for a four-year degree.

Of those inmates, more than 2,000 were being held for drug offenses, surpassing the number for murders or robberies.

The majority of inmates are African-American (57 percent), followed by Hispanics (33 percent), whites (7 percent) and Asians (1 percent), a

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