Election 2020

Budget Justice

"Budgets are moral documents"

Prioritize investments in social services, housing, health, and treatment. Reduce excessive spending on police, jails, and prisons and reallocate resources to community-based programs that uplift, rather than tear down, communities.

In the United States, more than $295 billion is spent annually to fund the police, courts, jails, prisons, probation, and parole. Yet that staggering investment does not correlate with public safety. Spending on the state, local, and federal criminal legal systems continues to rise despite an overall decline in arrests, historically low crime rates, and fewer people incarcerated compared to a decade ago. When more money is spent on police, jails, and prisons, less is allocated for basic community resources and services such as housing, medical care, mental health treatment, and social services. It is time to rethink our approach to public safety, divest from excessive funding of the criminal legal system, and invest in the services that help communities truly thrive.

Explore our budget justice related resources below.

  • Nationally, the cost of policing is a staggering

    $115B

    per year.

  • 74%

    of the total costs of jails is for salaries, benefits, and pensions.

From the Blog