54,000 people from Louisiana are behind bars today
Rates of imprisonment have grown dramatically in the last 40 years
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.
Today, Louisiana’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 Louisiana prisons and jails.
Louisiana's criminal justice system is more than just its prisons and jails
Our other articles about Louisiana
- Vera finds costs outweigh benefits in a “user-funded” criminal justice system by Wendy Sawyer, January 10, 2017
- Avoiding prison gerrymandering is often a matter of common sense: Texas and Louisiana research update, by Peter Wagner, Prisoners of the Census Blog, December 6, 2013
- Louisiana Local Governments' Struggles With Prison-Based Gerrymandering Could Be Eased By State, by Hillary Fenton, Prison Gerrymandering Blog, August 22, 2012