Maine has an incarceration rate of 328 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 almost any democracy on earth. Read on to learn more about who is incarcerated in Maine and why.
Additionally, the number of people impacted by county and city jails in Maine is much larger than the graph above would suggest, because people cycle through local jails relatively quickly. Each year, at least 14,000 different people are booked into local jails in Maine.
Prisons and jails in Maine are increasingly shifting the cost of incarceration to people behind bars and their families, hiding the true economic costs of mass incarceration:
We gave Maine a failing grade in September 2021 for its response to the coronavirus in prisons, noting that Maine 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).
For more detail, see our report States of Emergency.