Alaska has an incarceration rate of 718 per 100,000 people (including prisons, jails, immigration detention, and juvenile justice facilities), meaning that it locks up a higher percentage of its people than any democracy on earth. Read on to learn more about who is incarcerated in Alaska and why.
5,100 people from Alaska are behind bars
Rates of imprisonment have grown dramatically in the last 40 years
Also see these Alaska graphs:
Today, Alaska’s incarceration rates stand out internationally
In the U.S., incarceration extends beyond prisons and local jails to include other systems of confinement. The U.S. and state incarceration rates in this graph include people held by these other parts of the justice system, so they may be slightly higher than the commonly reported incarceration rates that only include prisons and jails. Details on the data are available in States of Incarceration: The Global Context. We also have a version of this graph focusing on the incarceration of women.
People of color are overrepresented in prisons and jails
See also our detailed graphs about Whites,
and American Indians/Alaskan Natives
in Alaska prisons.
Alaska's criminal justice system is more than just its prisons
The high cost of being incarcerated in Alaska
Prisons and jails in Alaska are increasingly shifting the cost of incarceration to people behind bars and their families, hiding the true economic costs of mass incarceration:
Our other articles about Alaska
Data on COVID-19 in Alaska jails and prisons
We gave Alaska a failing grade in September 2021 for its response to the coronavirus in prisons, noting that:
- Alaska is one of only 8 states that have failed to reduce their prison population by more than 10% during the pandemic.
- Alaska is one of only 8 state prison systems that did not offer free phone calls at any point during the pandemic.
For more detail, see our report States of Emergency. Or check out these other resources: