Stephen Nessen, Reporter, WNYC News
Stephen Nessen reports for the WNYC Newsroom and can often be heard live on Morning Edition.
The average annual cost to house an inmate in New York City is more than $167,731,according to a report issued by the Independent Budget Office.
The IBO breaks down the numbers like this: 45 percent of the total cost goes to salary and wages for the Department of Corrections. Nineteen percent is for fringe benefits, like health care. And 6 percent, or $10,135 goes to food, and maintenance of prisons.
Breaking down the prison population, the IBO finds that 93 percent are male, and 57 percent are black.
The majority of the city's incarcerated are there on robbery charges, followed by murder and attempted murder, felony drug sales and burglaries. While the overall prison population is declining, there are still more than 12,287 inmates in city jails.