Twitter discussions reflect upon mass incarceration numbers

Our briefing on the new Bureau of Justice Statistics numbers spark discussion on Twitter.

by Catherine Cain, September 18, 2014

On Tuesday, the Prison Policy Initiative released a briefing on the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ national update for 2013, Prisoners in 2013. PPI’s briefing highlighted continuing racial disparities within the prison system and record high prison populations in 14 U.S. states. It also showed that, after three years of decline, the total prison population has increased and disproved any relationship between state crime rates and incarceration rates. After posting some of these highlights on Twitter, we received a variety of excited responses and more twitter traffic than we’ve seen since June.

Here is what a few users had to say:

Liam Johnston succintly tweets:

PPI supporter and board member Heather Ann Thompson:

The Southern Poverty Law Center called our briefing a must read.

Organizer with Milk Not Jails, Brenden Beck, also noted:

A lot of people pulled out their favorite findings from our briefing, including the racial disparity facts:

After learning that 14 individual U.S. states set record high prison populations this past year, many twitter followers also commented on how these individual states– as well as the U.S. as a whole –measure in comparison to other countries. Some commentators revisited statistics that the Prison Policy Initiative published last year, States of Incarceration: The Global Context:

Orleans Public Defender tweets:

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