Million Dollar Hoods maps the neighborhoods where LASD and LAPD spent the most on incarceration between 2010 to 2015. Image credit: milliondollarhoods.org

Community Experiences on Million-Dollar Blocks in Los Angeles

Kelly Lytle Hernández, African American Studies and History, UCLA

“At a cost quickly approaching $1 billion annually, more than 17,000 people are incarcerated every night in county jails and city lockups. But not every neighborhood within Los Angeles is equally impacted by L.A.’s massive jail system.” Million Dollar Hoods is an ongoing research project that is mapping the neighborhoods where the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) spent the most on incarceration between 2010 to 2015.

The Youth Justice Coalition (YJC) in collaboration with the Undercommons will identify target areas for investigation using data from the Million Dollar Blocks project. YJC researchers have been trained in oral interviews, photography, and videography, to collect interviews and produce videos and photos of impacted communities. The media will then be integrated into the Million Dollar Block maps.

Enter the “Million Dollar Hoods” Map Room to learn how L.A.’s nearly billion-dollar jail budget is largely committed to incarcerating many people from just a few neighborhoods.

The first layer of the map highlights in red all communities where the LASD spent at least $1 million annually to jail residents, amounting to a minimum $6 million investment in incarceration over the study’s six-year period. The millions of dollars committed to incarceration in these neighborhoods makes them “Million Dollar Hoods.” In some Million Dollar Hoods, such as Lancaster, Palmdale, and Compton, LASD has spent tens of millions of dollars since 2010.

The second layer of the map highlights the communities where the LAPD spent at least $1 million annually on detention during these same years. The millions of dollars committed to incarceration in the highlighted neighborhoods makes them “Million Dollar Hoods.”

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