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Matthew T. Mangino: Bulging local jails impact criminal justice system

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Every year, about 11 million people funnel through local municipal and county jails. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, between 1970 and 2017, the number of people incarcerated in the nation’s 3,000-plus local jails ballooned - from 150,000 to about 720,000 per day.

Most people in jail have not been convicted of the charges they are facing, and many are being detained in civil matters, such as people incarcerated pretrial for immigration cases or those incarcerated due to unpaid child support or fines and costs.

The millions of people who go to jail each year are there generally for brief periods of time. Most released in days or hours after their arrest, while others are held for months or even years - often because they can’t afford to make bail, are unable to get a speedy trial or can’t gain timely access to a public defender. Only about a third of the 720,000 people in jails on a given day have been convicted and are serving short sentences, probation violations or minor misdemeanor convictions.

A recent Vera........

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