MacArthur Foundation pledges $75 million to fixing US jails

Author: Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) – The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation says it will give $75 million over the next five years to local jail operators proposing new ways to reduce the number of people spending time behind bars.

MacArthur President Julia Stasch says Wednesday that local lockups that hold nearly 12 million people annually too often function as “warehouses” for nonviolent offenders, the mentally ill and people who can’t afford bail.

Officials from states, cities, counties, tribes and judicial districts with a jail that holds 50 people or more can submit proposals to the Chicago-based group this month.

Up to 20 local jurisdictions will receive a $150,000 planning grant. As many as 10 will then receive $2 million per year to support their proposals.

There are more than 3,000 jails nationwide.

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