Speed Reads

The Carceral State

Louisiana's incarceration rate is 5 times that of Iran

At this point it's nearly common knowledge that the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, at 716 prisoners per 100,000 residents. But how does that break down by state? The Prison Policy Initiative has constructed a handy chart that breaks it down in comparison with other nations around the world. Here are the biggest offenders (click to enlarge):

Just out of curiosity, I compared Iran to Louisiana, our worst prison state at 1,341 prisoners per 100,000 people. The result: Louisiana imprisons 4.72 times as many people per capita as Iran (at 284). Indeed, Iran is actually closer to the U.K. and France than to us. Our peer nations in mass incarceration are places like Rwanda, Russia, and El Salvador.

Click here to see the rest of the report, and see where your state lands.