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.
5,400 people from Alaska are behind bars
Rates of imprisonment have grown dramatically in the last 40 years
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
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:
If a person in Alaska prisons has more than $15 in their commissary account they may not qualify for assistance to purchase essentials like hygiene items and postage. And they may have to pay the state back for any assistance they receive.