The topic is critical to criminal justice reform efforts because young adults are overrepresented in the justice system, including the nations’ prisons and jails. The data show that while 18 to 24-year-olds are only 9.9 percent of the United States population, and they are 12% of the prison population. Among a sampling of eight cities and counties, young adults were 8.4 percent of the population, but were 25 percent of the jail population in these communities, 72 percent of whom were young adults of color. In these eight communities, taxpayers spend $163 a day to jail someone (upwards of $58,000 per year). In sharp contrast to the costs of jailing a young adult, a community-based approach to meeting the needs of young adults will cost less than what taxpayers spend to jail 18-24-year olds.