In many neighborhoods, hard truths about day-to-day life — like violent streets or crumbling schools — are readily apparent to residents, but less obvious to city and state officials.
Hard data can sometimes bridge that gap, helping policymakers better visualize which communities are doing well, and which may need additional help or resources.
The New York-based Justice Mapping Center has been providing those kinds of visuals for more than a decade. By mapping the residential addresses of every inmate in various prison systems, the center has made vividly clear a concept it calls "million-dollar blocks" — areas where more than $1 million is being spent annually to incarcerate the residents of a single census block.
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