It costs $126.06 per day to house an inmate at the Sacramento County Main Jail, said sheriff’s spokesman Shaun Hampton. A “basic life support” ambulance ride in California costs about $600, according to a recent study. Costs of other services, such as mental health care, are widely variable, and no accurate averages are available, officials said.

Taneyhill, who has a criminal history in Sacramento dating back to 2002, was staying at a Volunteers of America shelter earlier this year when a case manager for the county program, Bobby Uppal, approached him. Taneyhill recently had been released from jail, he said, and was working toward freeing himself from drugs and changing his life.



Doctors diagnosed Tiffany Barrett with bipolar disorder in 2004 after she tried to take her own life. But that information failed to reach a critical destination: Ohio’s Franklin County Jail. Instead, she spent the next seven years cycling in and out of the system on charges related to drug addiction.



Roth witnessed high-risk prisoners in solitary confinement or chained up or wearing restrictive jumpsuits — which tended to exacerbate the prisoners’ distress.

Therapy, when available, was often conducted under stressful conditions. Roth describes one session in the Los Angeles County jail that took place through the slots of a cell door — forcing the prisoner and therapist to yell to be heard.



More than 2.2 million adults are incarcerated on a given day. Nationwide, 4 in 10 people released from state prisons are reincarcerated within three years of their release. Approximately 2.7 million children in the United States have a parent who is incarcerated. Almost 2 million times each year, a person with a serious mental illness is booked into a county jail.