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New York has an incarceration rate of 443 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 New York and why.

Jump to COVID-19 data.

92,000 people from New York are behind bars

Pie chart showing that 92,000 New York residents are locked up in federal prisons, state prisons, local jails and other types of facilities

Additionally, the number of people impacted by county and city jails in New York is much larger than the graph above would suggest, because people cycle through local jails relatively quickly. Each year, at least 267,000 different people are booked into local jails in New York.

Rates of imprisonment have grown dramatically in the last 40 years

graph showing the number of people in state prison and local jails per 100,000 residents in New York from 1978 to 2015 Also see these New York graphs:

Graph showing the number of people in New York jails who were convicted and the number who were unconvicted, for the years 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1999, 2005, and 2013.

Today, New York’s incarceration rates stand out internationally

graphic comparing the incarceration rates of the founding NATO members with the incarceration rates of the United States and the state of New York. The incarceration rate of 698 per 100,000 for the United States and 443 for New York is much higher than any of the founding NATO membersIn 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

2010 graph showing incarceration rates per 100,000 people of various racial and ethnic groups in New York

racial and ethnic disparities between the prison/jail and general population in NY as of 2010

See also our detailed graphs about Whites, Hispanics, and Blacks in New York prisons and jails.

New York's criminal justice system is more than just its prisons and jails

Pie chart showing that 231,000 New York residents are in various types of correctional facilities or under criminal justice supervision on probation or parole

Data on COVID-19 in New York jails and prisons

If you're looking for case or death counts in specific states or facilities, 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 New York ranks on other important pandemic-related issues, see our resources below:

Our other articles about New York

Other resources

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