Misplaced Priorities: Philadelphia, PA

In Philadelphia, taxpayers spent nearly $290 million to imprison residents sentenced from just 11 of the city's neighborhoods. While these neighborhoods are home to just over one-quarter of the city's population, they account for more than half of the over $500 million dollars spent to imprison people sentenced in all of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia residents also foot two sets of incarceration bills that limit what they can spend on schools: as state taxpayers, residents of Philadelphia pay their portion of Pennsylvania's $1.6 billion state prison budget and city residents also pay $218 million to run a local jail.

Of the city's 35 lower performing schools, 23 (66 percent) are clustered in or very near neighborhoods with the highest rates of incarceration — where the biggest taxpayer investment is being made towards incarceration. By contrast, of Philadelphia's 28 higher performing schools, 21 (75 percent) are in neighborhoods with the lowest rates of incarceration.

Philadelphia Map