KARA Public Service Announcement (30 seconds)

If the medical community,

Children’s Defense Fund

and former MN Supreme Court

Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz

are right,

the vast majority of crime in America

is the result of what happened to that person as a child.



The U.S. has the highest rate of incarceration of

any nation on earth with:

4% of the world population & 20% of it’s prisoners.

2.3 million prisoners, 4.5 million Americans on parole &

about 8 million Americans with prior histories of incarceration & parole &

between 8 and 10 million Americans arrested every year or,

about 27 million Americans involved in the criminal justice system.

Mass Incarceration #’s 2023 


Several states including California and Arizona have used early grade test scores to assist in forecasting required prison capacity growth.  (Corrections Digest, April 12, 2002)  23% of Black and American Indian third graders in Minneapolis MN read at grade level.

6.11.21 NY votes to raise the minimum age of arrest from 7 to 12  and considers prohibiting the shackling of children and youth in family court.

Louisiana  (the World’s Prison Capitol), Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma & several other states have incarceration rates 20 times that of incarceration rates in most other industrialized nations.  The best prisons in the world release good neighbors back into the community American prisons release hardened criminals with mental health problems and an 80% chance of recidivism within five years and 90% within nine years. Chicago Sheriff Thomas Dart at Aspen (100 million Americans have a criminal record)

Consider this; Japan has 120 million citizens and 77,000 incarcerated citizens.

The U.S. has 327 million citizens and 2,400,000 incarcerated citizens –

many of them children tried as adults.

Prison life sentences have quadrupled while the minimum age

for imprisonment has dropped since the 1980’s

Below are the statistics and research used to calculate the cost of crime in America today

It would be a smart to know the cost of crime and

how much would be saved by fixing it (start here)


Mike Tikkanen speaks about child abuse/trauma/healing and community

at schools, colleges, workplaces, events, etc.; To learn more:

send an email to info@invisiblechildren.org with SPEAKING in the subject line. 

Mike’s INVISIBLE CHILDREN book can be read and listened to (for free)here.

  • Sign up for KARA’s Free Friday morning E-Newsletter
  • subscribe to new chapters of AMERICA’S CHILDREN IN 100 CHARTS here.
  • Mike is A KARA founder/Executive Director and founding board member at CASAMN.






The societal costs of incarceration—lost earnings, adverse health effects, and the damage to the families of the incarcerated—are estimated at up to three times the direct costs, bringing the total burden of our criminal justice system to $1.2 trillion.

The Economic Costs of the U.S. Criminal Justice System – AAF



According to a report by the Justice Policy Institute, the average state cost for the secure confinement of a young person is $588 per day or $214,620 per year2. or $214,620 per year, a 44 percent increase from 2014. These cost figures over a six-year period represent the growing economic impact of incarcerating youth.Jul 30, 2020

According to a report by the Prison Policy Initiative, on any given day, over 48,000 youth in the United States are confined in facilities away from home as a result of juvenile justice or criminal justice involvement 1.

48,000 * $214,620 = 10,301,760,000 (ten billion dollars annually)

No other nation in the world competes with us in this space.


A report by the Prison Policy Initiative states that as of 2022, roughly 1.9 million people are incarcerated in the United States2.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that local jails nationwide held 663,100 persons in custody at midyear 2022, which is 4% more than at this time the year before3


100 million Americans have a criminal record, 77% of inmates are arrested for a new crime within five years of their release from prison,

30.2% of Americans are arrested by their 23rd birthday, African Americans are incarcerated at 5 times the rate of whites & Black children 42% of children who are detained & 52% of children whose cases go to criminal court.

37% of American children are reported to Child Protective Services by their 23rd birthday,

Abused children are 9 times more likely to be involved in criminal activity.  ACE study from 2006 criminality* in families.  Richard Ross Children in prison

Annually, 200,000 juveniles charged as adults.

  • A criminal record can reduce the likelihood of a callback or job offer by nearly 50 percent. The negative impact of a criminal record is twice as large for African American applicants.
  • Infectious diseases are highly concentrated in corrections facilities: 15% of jail inmates and 22% of prisoners – compared to 5% of the general population – reported ever having tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS, or other STDs.
  • Spending on prisons and jails has increased at triple the rate of spending on Pre‐K‐12 public education in the last thirty years.

Each burglary costs $41,288.00, (1,410,000 crimes * $41,288.00= $59,216,080,000.00) Washington University St Louis Study Iowa State University Cost of Crime Study

Each armed robbery costs $335,733.00, 41% of 332,198 robberies were committed with a gun * 136,201.00 = $45,727,170,333.00

Each aggravated assault costs $145,379.00 (744,000 crimes * $145,379.00 = $108,161,976,000.00

Each rape costs $448,000.00 (99,856 crimes * $448.000.00 = $44,735,488,000.00)

Each murder costs $17,252,656.00 * 17,250 murders = 297,608,316,000.00

Cases without the death penalty cost $740,000, where the death penalty is sought cost $1.26 million. Maintaining each death row prisoner costs taxpayers $90,000 more per year than a prisoner in general population.

There are 2708 Americans on death row;

2708 at $131,000,000 yr avg cost to maintain * 15 yr avg on Death Row =1,965,000,000.00 (2708 prisoners cost 2 Billion dollars)

Shootings Cost $174 billion Annually in the U.S.

America has 5% of the world’s population and 25% its prison population. 2,220,300 Americans in jails and prisons & 4,751,400 on parole.

Recidivism is near 80%

66% of incarcerated juveniles have mental health problems & half that number have multiple, serious and chronic mental illness.


Annual actual cost of crime in America is more than 1 trillion dollars Iowa Cost of Crime Study;

Burglary 41,288.00 1410000 58,216,080,000.00
Armed Robbery 335,733.00 136201 45,727,170,333.00
Aggravated AssaulT 145,379.00 744000 108,161,976,000.00
Rape 448,000.00 99856 44,735,488,000.00
Murder 17,252,656.00 17250 297,608,316,000.00


Among the 45 states that provided data (representing 1.29 million of the 1.33 million total people incarcerated in all 50 state prison systems), the total cost per inmate averaged $33,274 and ranged from a low of $14,780 in Alabama to a high of$69,355 in New York.

The Price of Prisons – Prison spending in 2015 …

*Several states including California and Arizona have used early grade test scores to assist in forecasting required prison capacity growth. Corrections Digest, April 12, 2002

There are many forces at play on Child Protective Services today:

To save more children from the violence and traumas of toxic homes,

Child Protective Services must provide

better tracking and reporting of

critical child outcomes-based metrics 

and attention to

the continued over-institutionalizing

of children in the system

(dehumanizing trends)

KARA reports on the issues of invisible children

This article submitted by Former CASA Guardian Ad Litem Mike Tikkanen

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All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children


“What we do to our children, they will do to our society”

(Pliny the Elder, 2000 years ago)


(They make a big difference in the lives of abused children)



Read the full story here

Read the rebuttals to the MAD report here; Rich GehrmanGerard Bodell, Mike Tikkanen