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States of Incarceration: The Global Context 2024 

5 days ago

Originally posted by Wanda Bertram on 06/25/2024


Hi friends,

The Prison Policy Initiative just released our 2024 edition of States of Incarceration: The Global Context, in which we compare U.S. states' incarceration rates to the rest of the world and find, once again, that the U.S. is far out of step with its peers when it comes to locking up its own people. While many in the U.S. have come to accept the nation's high incarceration rate as a fact of life, by looking at these numbers through a global lens, we instead see it as an outlier, its high rates driven by a failure to truly respond to issues such as homelessness, poverty, mental health needs, and addiction.

Key findings from this year's report include:

  • U.S. states continue to be global leaders in mass incarceration, with nine states registering the highest incarceration rates on the planet - aside from El Salvador, which has been "run as a police state" in recent years.
  • Even Massachusetts, the state with the lowest incarceration rate in the nation, would rank 30th in the world with an incarceration rate higher than that of Iran.
US state incarceration rates gif

The report includes an interactive graphic showing the incarceration rates for individual U.S. states and all countries of the world. The report also includes 50 graphics showing how states compare to the U.S.'s closest allies on incarceration.

See the full report and graphics here: 

I hope this is helpful in your work.



Prison Policy Initiative 

Wanda Bertram
Communications Strategist
Prison Policy Initiative

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