UCLA researchers have launched a mapping database that shows the disparate impact of the Los Angeles county jail system – the largest in the United States. Million Dollar hoods maps how much money the LA County Sheriff’s Department and LAPD spend per neighborhood to incarcerate residents in county and city jails. The project has provided unprecedented transparency and public access to jail data in LA and identifies patterns of incarceration throughout the country. The mapping tool also allows users to examine data by race, gender, type of crime, and leading cause of arrest for every neighborhood.
The project uncovered that LA’s nearly billion-dollar jail budget is largely concentrated to incarcerating residents of just a few neighborhoods. In Lancaster, Palmdale, and Compton, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent since 2010. LA County has spent more than $82 million incarcerating residents from Lancaster and more than $61 million incarcerating people from Palamdale, with DUI and possession of a controlled substance the top two causes of arrest. In that same time nearly $40 million was spent of incarcerating residents from Compton where the top cause of arrest was possession of a controlled substance.