Louisiana has an incarceration rate of 1,094 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 Louisiana and why.
Additionally, the number of people impacted by county and city jails in Louisiana is much larger than the graph above would suggest, because people cycle through local jails relatively quickly. Each year, at least 86,000 different people are booked into local jails in Louisiana.
More than half of the people held in jails in Louisiana are held for federal or state agencies, primarily the state prison system. To avoid counting them twice, this population is not included in the yellow jails line. For annual counts of people in jails held for federal or state authorizes in Louisiana, see our table "Jail and prison incarcerated populations by state over time."
Also see these Louisiana graphs:
This graph excludes people held for state or federal authorities from the total count of people held in Louisiana jails. Because a majority (66%) of the population in Louisiana jails is held for the state prison system, this graph likely overstates the convicted population and understates the pre-trial population.
We gave Louisiana a failing grade in September 2021 for its response to the coronavirus in prisons, noting that:
For more detail, see our report States of Emergency. Or check out these other resources: