Ohio has an incarceration rate of 659 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 Ohio and why.
Jump to COVID-19 data.
78,000 people from Ohio are behind bars
Additionally, the number of people impacted by county and city jails in Ohio is much larger than the graph above would suggest, because people cycle through local jails relatively quickly. Each year, at least 150,000 different people are booked into local jails in Ohio.
Rates of imprisonment have grown dramatically in the last 40 years
Also see these Ohio graphs:
Today, Ohio’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 Ohio prisons and jails.
Ohio's criminal justice system is more than just its prisons and jails
Data on COVID-19 in Ohio jails and prisons
We gave Ohio a failing grade in September 2021 for its response to the coronavirus in prisons, noting that:
- Ohio is one of 13 states that did not explicitly mention incarcerated people in their vaccination rollout plan, and is one of 15 prison systems that has not yet vaccinated more than 60% of the incarcerated population.
- Ohio is one of 15 prison systems that does not have a policy making hand sanitizer widely available or providing free hygiene products — like soap — to incarcerated people.
For more detail, see our report States of Emergency. Or check out these other resources:
- We're tracking Ohio's medical copay policies in prisons during the pandemic
- Our Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic page tracks criminal justice policy responses to the coronavirus all 50 states
- Ohio returned as many people to prison for technical violations of probation or parole in 2020 — the first year of the pandemic — as it did in 2019.
- State prison and jail population data for February 2022. (Previous data is available for October 2021, June 2021, February 2021, December 2020, September 2020, August 2020, and May 2020.) Data availability varies by state.
- As of late April 2021, only 58% of corrections staff in Ohio prisons had gotten the COVID-19 vaccine
- How many COVID-19 cases in Ohio communities can be linked to outbreaks in correctional facilities? (data from our report Mass Incarceration, COVID-19, and Community Spread)
- As of August 2020, Ohio prisons were not even requiring staff to wear masks at work
Our other articles about Ohio
Prison-based gerrymandering in Ohio