How do U.S. states’ use of the prison compare globally? New infographic from ‘Prison Policy Initiative’

Many thanks to Leah Sakala from Prison Policy Initiative for alerting me to their newest report. This report is the first to directly situate individual U.S. states’ incarceration practices in the global context.

The press release asks ‘how does your state compare to the international community when it comes to the use of incarceration?’ Not very well, says the new infographic and report by the Prison Policy Initiative and data artist Josh Begley.

This report, “States of Incarceration: The Global Context” recognizes that while there are important differences between how US states handle incarceration, incarceration policy in every region of the country is out of step with the rest of the world. The report and infographic draws international figures on incarceration from the International Centre for Prison Studies and state-level data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“It is essential to focus on the incarceration practices of individual states,” said Peter Wagner, Executive Director of the Prison Policy Initiative.  “Most criminal justice policy decisions are made at the state level and the vast majority of the people locked up are locked up for violating state laws,”

“Compared to Louisiana, most U.S. states appear to have reasonable rates of incarceration, but it is disturbing to see where these ‘reasonable’ states stack up in the broader carceral landscape,” said data-artist and co-author Josh Begley.

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