Florida has an incarceration rate of 795 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 Florida and why.
Jump to COVID-19 data.
176,000 people from Florida are behind bars
Additionally, the number of people impacted by county and city jails in Florida is much larger than the graph above would suggest, because people cycle through local jails relatively quickly. Each year, at least 350,000 different people are booked into local jails in Florida.
Rates of imprisonment have grown dramatically in the last 40 years
Also see these Florida graphs:
Today, Florida’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
in Florida prisons and jails.
Florida's criminal justice system is more than just its prisons and jails
Data on COVID-19 in Florida jails and prisons
We gave Florida a failing grade in September 2021 for its response to the coronavirus in prisons, noting that:
- Florida failed to utilize one of the most obvious, and easiest, tools for reducing the prison population — stopping prison admissions for technical violations of probation and parole (which are not crimes).
- Florida was one of 15 prison systems that has not yet vaccinated more than 60% of the incarcerated population.
For more detail, see our report States of Emergency. Or check out these other resources:
- During the pandemic, Florida suspended medical copays for incarcerated people seeking treatment for COVID-like symptoms. It should end these copays completely.
- Our Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic page tracks criminal justice policy responses to the coronavirus all 50 states
- Florida was one of three states that saw more than 500 people die in its prisons in the first year of the COVID pandemic.
- COVID-19 reduced the life expectancy of the Florida prison population by over four years in 2020
- Florida is one of only a handful of states that never released details about its plan to vaccinate incarcerated people
- Florida prisons were still over 100% capacity in December 2020, several months into the pandemic
- How many COVID-19 cases in Florida communities can be linked to outbreaks in correctional facilities? (data from our report Mass Incarceration, COVID-19, and Community Spread)
- State prison and jail population data for February 2022. (Previous data is available for October 2021, June 2021, February 2021, December 2020, September 2020, August 2020, and May 2020.) Data availability varies by state.
Our other articles about Florida
Prison-based gerrymandering in Florida