The Incarceration Index: Prison's Rising Numbers in the Land of the Free

A new report by Mother Jones, "Debt to Society," has compiled extensive data on the United States' ever-expanding prison system. With state-by-state comparisons and a series of essays about the prison-industrial complex, Mother Jones has created a great reference center to combat our national obsession with incarceration.

Particularly useful is the Incarceration Atlas. Click on a state, and you can see its incarceration rate, prison spending, education spending, and its growth in such spending over the last 20 years. It also shows the state's prison percentage of drug offenders and its incarceration rate for whites compared to non-whites.

A smattering of statistics garnered from the report (unless otherwise stated, all statistics are for the year 2000):

Ranking of the U.S. in world's highest incarceration rates: 1

Percentage of U.S. prisoners incarcerated for drug offenses in 1980: 8
Percentage of U.S. prisoners incarcerated for drug offenses in 1998: 23

U.S. incarceration rates of Caucasians per 100,000 residents: 235
U.S. incarceration rates of African-Americans per 100,000 residents: 1815

Minnesota's ranking among U.S. highest incarceration rates: 51
Minnesota's ranking among U.S. highest education spending per capita: 1

District of Columbia's ranking among U.S. highest incarceration rates: 1
District of Columbia's ranking among U.S. highest education spending per capita: 51

Percent change from 1980 to 2000 in U.S.'s per capita spending on schools: + 32
Percent change from 1980 to 2000 in U.S.'s per capita spending on prisons: + 189
Percent change from 1980 to 2000 in Texas' per capita spending on prisons: + 401

Learn more by checking out the whole Mother Jones Prison Report at www.motherjones.com/prisons.

#story_page_ below_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.