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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
Tue October 2, 2012
Turning Data Into Action With 'Million-Dollar Blocks'
Certain truths about life in a neighborhood are readily apparent to people who live there, but less obvious to city and state officials. The Justice Mapping Center uses data to help bridge that gap with information about the prison system. By mapping the residential addresses of every inmate in various prison systems, Eric Cadora and his colleagues have made vividly clear a concept they call "Million-Dollar Blocks." In some places more than a million dollars are being spent every year to incarcerate the residents of a single Census block. Audie Cornish talks with Eric Cadora. One city is trying to put that information to good use. The push to create the Prison Reentry Initiative in New Haven, Connecticut, stemmed in part from Cadora's maps. When inmates from certain neighborhoods leave prison, there is an intensified effort to connect them with services to help them forge a new life.