Why taxpayers should care about Philly's $3.5M MacArthur grant - Generocity Philly

Funding

Apr. 14, 2016 8:22 am

Why taxpayers should care about Philly’s $3.5M MacArthur grant

The grant will fund a plan to reduce the prison population by 34 percent. That's 2,380 people currently in jail and not in jobs.

Youth with records often struggle to find employment and housing.

(Photo by Flickr user Bread for the World, used under a Creative Commons license)

The cost of housing an inmate in Philadelphia is $120 a day. With over 7,000 people currently in the city’s prison system, over $840,000 is being shelled out to keep individuals incarcerated daily.

And because Philadelphia is both a city and a county and must pay for its own court and prison costs, funding the prison system leaves little room for funding things like — oh, you know, education.

The city wants to change that, and a recent $3.5 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation will give the city’s new decarceration plan a big boost.

The plan, laid out best in this Philly mag jawn, will aim to cut the city’s prison population by 34 percent over the next three years by implementing programs that expedite the release process, create alternatives to imprisonment and keep nonviolent offenders out of the prison system.

Read the full proposal

Between the development of two statewide recidivism reduction initiatives and progress being made on state “Clean Slate” legislation, April 2016 has been a good month so far for tackling Philadelphia and Pennsylvania’s notorious incarceration problem.

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