There are many things that those on different sides of the political spectrum disagree on. These issues range from everything from appropriate school textbooks to abortion rights. One fact that isn’t often debated, however, is that America has one of the highest prison populations in the world.
Now, there may be some debate over the cause of this and even whether it’s beneficial for society or not, but the fact that our prison population is extremely high simply isn’t debatable. In fact, although America only contains 5 percent of the world’s entire population, it boasts 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated population.
Wondering how much your state contributes to this statistic? Thanks to this handy map, you need to wonder no more.
Prison population by state.
Some of these prison populations are surprisingly low, relatively speaking anyway. Simply look at Maine’s prison population of 164 inmates per 100,000 citizens. Then take a good look at our good friend and Republican stronghold Texas. With a population of 669 prisoners per 100,000 residents, its prison population rate is higher than in countries such as Russia and Iran.
Sadly, many Congressional members keep pushing forward legislation designed to keep prisons full after being lobbied by the private prison industry. Furthermore, let’s take a look at Oklahoma, Mississippi, Delaware and Louisiana. All but one of these states is a conservative paradise, and all four have a prison population rate higher than any country in the world. The… entire… world.
Land of the free, baby.