Mississippi has an incarceration rate of 1,039 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 many wealthy democracies do. Read on to learn more about who is incarcerated in Mississippi and why.
Additionally, the number of people impacted by county and city jails in Mississippi is much larger than the graph above would suggest, because people cycle through local jails relatively quickly. Each year, at least 84,000 different people are booked into local jails in Mississippi.
More than half of the people held in jails in Mississippi 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 Mississippi, see our table "Jail and prison incarcerated populations by state over time."
Also see these Mississippi graphs:
This graph excludes people held for state or federal authorities from the total count of people held in Mississippi jails. Because a tremendous proportion (48%) of the population in Mississippi’s jails is held for the state prison system, this graph likely overstates the convicted population and understates the pre-trial population.
The relatively high proportion of Hispanics incarcerated in Mississippi is due largely to the Adams County Correctional Center, a Corrections Corporation of American facility that contracts with the Federal Bureau of Prisons to hold immigration detainees.
If you're looking for case or death counts, our friends at the COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project have a detailed spreadsheet whose numbers may be as current as (or more current than) the state prison system's own data. To learn how Mississippi ranks on other important pandemic-related issues, see our resources below: