Million Dollar Hoods: Understanding the Largest Jail System on Earth

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.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) operates the Los Angeles County Jail system. Comprised of one processing facility (Inmate Reception Center), three men’s jails (Men’s Central Jail, Twin Towers Correctional Facility, Pitchess Detention Center – East, North, South and North County Correctional Facility) and one women’s jail (Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood), the L.A. County Jail holds detained adults charged with a criminal law violation while awaiting trial or sentenced adult criminal offenders (less than one year). Since the passage of AB 109 (Realignment), persons with prison sentences for non-serious, non-violent or non-sex offenses are also serving time in the L.A. County Jail system.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) jail system incarcerates persons between arrest and arraignment. After arraignment, persons arrested by LAPD must be released or transferred. The majority of transfers are sent to the L.A. County Jail, which is the central jailing system for L.A. County and most municipalities within the County.

Million Dollar Hoods: Map Room, Lancaster

Million Dollar Hoods maps the neighborhoods where LASD and LAPD spent the most on incarceration between 2010 to 2015. 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 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.”

Enter the Map Room, hover your mouse on neighborhoods to learn how much LASD and LAPD spent to incarcerate residents of that community between 2010 and 2015. With each click you will also access supplemental data, such as the leading causes of arrest within each neighborhood and the racial and gender demographics of residents jailed by LASD deputies. Coming Soon: A map of how much LASD and LAPD spent, combined, on incarceration in L.A.’s larger regional communities, such as South Central Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, East Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, etc.

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