Just last week we released a new groundbreaking report entitled Sticker Shock: Calculating the Full Price Tag for Youth Incarceration that shows that how we choose to invest in juvenile justice has significant lasting monetary implications not only for the youth we lock up, but for our society as a whole.

As reported in the U.S. News & World Report: “When youths pay for crime by being incarcerated, taxpayers, too, bear some of the burden…Aside from the direct costs of incarcerating juveniles [averaging nearly $150,000 per youth per year]…taxpayers pay in the long term as well in the form of lost future earnings, lost tax revenue and other ripple effects that the Justice Policy Institute estimates costs state and local governments nationwide somewhere between $8 billion and $21 billion annually.”

Not surprisingly, Sticker Shock also shows that youth of color are treated more harshly by the system, with African American and Latino youth being incarcerated at much higher rates than white youth. With the nation rightly focused on the recent tragic incidents in Ferguson, Staten Island and Cleveland, we understand how important it is to continue to work towards fairness for all who come into contact with the justice system.

We also know that our nation’s criminal justice policies have lasting negative consequences for all people and communities. That is why here at JPI we are working in Maryland, Virginia, D.C., and nationally to reduce justice system involvement and advocate for a smaller, more cost effective and fair justice system.

We all need to work together to promote practical policies and programs that help lift people up rather than subject them to the lifetime consequences associated with justice system involvement.

I’m asking for your help today in supporting this critical work. A recurring monthly donation will enable the Justice Policy Institute to continue our work to create a fairer and more effective justice system that will make us all safer in the long run.

Thank you for your support and best wishes for a happy holiday!

Marc Schindler, Executive Director