Today in the United States, more than 1.9 million people are locked up in more than 6,000 correctional facilities operated by thousands of agencies.
Most people in jail are not convicted, but are locked up awaiting trial.
Many are detained in local jails because they cannot afford to pay the bail amount set to secure their release. The median bail amount is $10,000.
4 out of 5 people in prison or jail are locked up for something other than a drug offense.
Less than 8% of all incarcerated people are held in private prisons; the vast majority are in publicly owned prisons and jails. Nevertheless, a range of private industries and even some public agencies continue to profit from mass incarceration.
By privatizing services like phone calls, medical care, and commissary, prisons and jails are unloading the costs of incarceration onto incarcerated people and their families, trimming their budgets at an unconscionable social cost.
Two of the biggest private prison companies in the country, Corrections Corporation of America, and The GEO Group, made $4.1 BILLION in annual revenue in 2021.
Yet, on average, incarcerated people earn between 86 cents and $3.45 per day for the most common prison jobs.
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