I need your help. I co-founded the Prison Policy Initiative to put the problem of mass incarceration — and the perverse incentives that fuel it — on the national agenda. Over the last 17 years, our campaigns have protected our democracy from the prison system and protected the poorest families in this country from the predatory prison telephone industry. Our reports untangle the statistics and recruit new allies.

But now, more than ever, we need your help to put data & compassion into the conversation.

Thank you.
—Peter Wagner, Executive DirectorDonate
Bar graph showing the percent of people in jail in each state who are being held for federal or state authorities

Data Source: See report methodology for source information. (Graph: Joshua Aiken, 2017)

This graph originally appeared in Era of Mass Expansion: Why State Officials Should Fight Jail Growth.

In 25 states, one out of every ten people in jail is actually being held for state or federal authorities. This slideshow reveals how much of each state’s reported jail population is actually the result of local officials renting jail bed space to different federal and state agencies. Data is not available for Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

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