A recent report has found it costs almost as much to jail an inmate in New York City in a year as it does to pay for four years at an Ivy League university.
The Independent Budget Office found it cost $167,731 in 2012 to house each of the 12,287 daily New York City inmates. That's about $460 per inmate per day.
Experts say certain, expensive fixed costs in New York's system keep the figure high despite a large drop in incarceration that peaked in 1991 with about 22,000 inmates.
Another factor is the hundreds of millions of dollars spent a year to run Rikers Island, the 400-acre island located next to the runways of LaGuardia Airport that has 10 jail facilities, thousands of staff, its own power plant and transportation system.
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