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Report: Violence Grows As More Money Spent On Inmates At NYC Jails

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Millions are going into the effort to reform city jails, but a new report finds problems continue to grow.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer said New York City is spending more on fewer inmates and yet the rate of violent incidents is accelerating at an alarming pace.

The number of inmates in city jails has fallen to 30-year lows, but per inmate per year the cost is nearing $113,000, up 17 percent over the last fiscal year, Stringer said, adding there is little to show for the millions dedicated to a Rikers makeover.

The rate of inmate fight and assault infractions has grown by 19 percent since 2014 and there's been a 46 percent increase in assaults on prison staff, WCBS 880's Paul Murnane reported.

"There is definitely something wrong with this picture: the jail population in New York City is the lowest in 31 years, but the rate of violent incidents is accelerating at an alarming pace," String said in a statement. "At the same time, the Department of Correction is pouring huge amounts of money into this problem, but we aren't seeing any real results or improvements. We need to find ways to protect both guards and inmates, while at the same time making sure that the substantial resources being spent on this problem aren't simply wasted."

LINK: Read The Full Report (pdf)

A spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio told The New York Times that meaningful reform takes time, but Stringer said there's an escalation of disturbing trends.

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