Editor’s Note: This article was updated on Oct. 19, 2014.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A new report has found that the taxpayer cost of jailing a New York City inmate has jumped 42 percent since 2007 as levels of violence continue to rise.
City Comptroller Scott Stringer says the annualized cost-per-inmate has grown from $67,565 in the 2007 fiscal year to $96,232 in fiscal 2014.
“Since 2007, the cost per inmate has increased 42 percent to over $96,000 per inmate per year,” he told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller.
Meanwhile, Stringer says there were 470 infractions for fighting per 1,000 average daily inmates in 2007. That number this year is 774, a 65 percent jump.
The figures released Friday far surpass costs-per-inmate in other big city jail systems such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Miami.
Stringer said what doesn’t add up is that the inmate population has dropped to its lowest levels in decades.
“While the inmate population is down 18 percent, we also found that violence is up. Inmate-on-inmate violence is up 65 percent,” he said.
The city’s Department of Correction said aging jails require more staffing than modern facilities, making them more expensive to operate.
“We are planning to build a new state-of-the-art facility, which could reduce some of these costs going forward,” a DOC spokesperson told WCBS 880. “In addition, unlike other major cities, we also face unique practical considerations that result in higher staffing levels; such as the need to transport and hold inmates at five different borough court locations.”
Department of Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte has vowed to quell rising levels of violence at Rikers Island.
The $1.1 billion agency employs about 9,000 uniformed correction officers.
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