Florida and a dozen other states imprison people at the highest rates in the world, without demonstrating that incarceration reduces crime, says the Prison Policy Initiative, a non-partisan research and policy advocacy organization.
Florida’s rate of incarceration in prisons and jails was 795 people per 100,000, 13th highest in the United States, according to the “States of Incarceration: The Global Context 2021” report released Wednesday.
It analyzes U.S. data from Dec. 31, 2019, shortly before the COVID pandemic took hold in the United States, and international data gathered by World Prison Brief, in 2021.
For ranking purposes, the analysis treats individual U.S. states as if they are countries in order to compare their incarceration rates with rates in various whole countries around the world.
Compared with 170 countries around the world, the United States has the highest incarceration rate — 644 per 100,000. That is followed by El Salvador (562), Turkmenistan (552), Rwanda (515), and Cuba (510).
Within the United States, 24 states have individual incarceration rates higher than the U.S. figure of 644 per 100,000.
Louisiana and Mississippi are the highest of all, both incarcerating more than 1,000 people per 100,000.
Next come Oklahoma, Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama and Kentucky, higher than 900; Arizona, Wyoming, Texas, Tennessee, and South Dakota, with more than 800; Florida at 795; nine other states higher than 700, and two states below 700.
The states with the lowest incarceration rates in the U.S. were Massachusetts, at 275 per 100,000, Vermont, at 288, and Rhode Island, at 289.
Meanwhile, mass incarceration did not align with crime rates, says the analysis, co-authored by Prison Policy Initiative Senior Research Analyst Emily Widra, and Tianna Herring, research associate.
“For four decades, the U.S. has been engaged in a globally unprecedented experiment to make every part of its criminal justice system more expansive and more punitive. As a result, incarceration has become the nation’s default response to crime, with, for example, 70 percent of convictions resulting in confinement — far more than other developed nations with comparable crime rates,” the report concludes.
“Our new analysis of incarceration rates and crime rates across the world reveals that the U.S.’s high incarceration rates are not a rational response to high crime rate, but rather a politically expedient response to public fears and perceptions about crime and violence.”
The Florida Department of Corrections, which accounts for the majority of Florida incarcerations, has not responded to a request for comment on the accuracy of the report and its findings.
–Laura Cassels, Florida Phoenix
Good. Don’t screw around in Florida
Simple, you do the crime, you do the time.
Well…while incarceration doesn’t affect the crime rate, I GUARANTEE that leaving those criminals on the streets would, without a doubt, INCREASE CRIME RATES dramatically!
Jane Gentile-Youd says
Can we get a list of alleged crimes, in proportion, which people are incarcerated for in Flagler County, average time held, final dispositions, total number being held in the green roof inn at any given time?
How many people are arrested and being held at any given time for small amounts of marijuana ?
Are people being held that are costing us hundreds of thousands whom could be placed under house arrest instead?
Are people being held who need mental help not jail time?
Do we have such a tremendous amount of hard core criminals that we need to budget $34million for law enforcement?
Just simply flabbergasted since the facts in the report clearly state that we have more people in jail per 100,000 than CUBA.!
JOSEPH HEMPFLING says
AND JUST THINK IT COSTS YOU AND ME AT LEAST $50,000 A YEAR TO KEEP SOMEONE INCARCERATED AND MAYBE $5000 TO SENT THEM TO COLLEGE. HOW LONG CAN WE KEEP THIS RUNAWAY MADNESS UP ? AND NOW THAT SO CALLED VACCINE CERTIFICATES ARE GOING TO BE REQUIRED TO WORK WHERE ARE WE GOING TO GET THE WORKERS TO PAY FOR IT ? OR ARE WE JUST TO GO ON PRINTING MONEY MONOPOLY STYLE?
A FEW THINGS TO THINK ABOUT MY FELLOW AMERICANS.
Dine In Carry Out says
Two clueless comments above….
It’s not about “public fears and perceptions”. It’s all about the money. The more people arrested and incarcerated, the more the money flows.
I did a dine and dash at 19 back in the 80’s. Valued maybe $40? First and subsequent only-time offense. Sentenced to 10 years in prison. I kid not! Spent three and a half, rest was paroled. Paid restitution of $1200 immediately after release. They said they never received the check. Paid again. Never received, even though I showed the court which state employee cashed the money order. Paid a third time and that one magically stuck. So essentially $2400 disappeared. Never heard anything about anything happening to that employee.
Five years into the parole, with only a few months left of pissing into their cups and literally thousands in parole fees, my parole was violated for failure to report employment. An employment where I was doing very well, with a salary suredly higher than the probation officers. Ever tried to get a job by being up front about your felony conviction? No, that doesn’t work. Of course I didn’t disclose. I like to eat too. So they rounded me up, had two US Marshalls fly me back to the state of the original offense. Thousands spent doing just that. Stayed in the jail there a week before appearing in front of the judge, whom was quite beside himself, berated the DA and ordered me released immediately. Literally just dropped me out into a downtown street on the other side of the country.
Back home I go. That cost hundreds in transportation. Of course I lost my job. I suppose because of the “fears and perceptions”. Met my new parole officer, because the old parole officer for reasons unknown suddenly chose a new career path. Pissed in their cup literally for one last month and that was that. All of that was 30 years ago. Dine and dash. No drugs. No guns. Just a poor hungry kid with no life support from anyone defined as an adult.
So don’t tell me about your rehabilitation. Don’t tell me about fears and perception. Its ALL about the money with incarceration in America. And it can happen to anyone. White, black, poor, probably not rich. I met hundreds just like myself while in. It was nothing short of unbelievable and astounding. I could go on and on and on about how utterly corrupt and morally bankrupt the entire system is. And it is all about the money. Period.
So I guess a lot of posters on here want repeat criminals out on the streets to yet, get caught again. Or let go some 15, 390 murders avg years held ( 36.5) 12,610 sexual offenses (avg years 24.9) , 11,629 robbery ( avg years 12.5) or 12,002 violent personal offenses (avg years 13.4) , Burglary 14, 774 ( avg years 14) just to name a few.
And like they say, if your stupid enough to do the crime, be prepared to spend some time in jail. Sure petty crimes, a little bit of grass is a little bit much to even hassle with the cost, but dealing hard drugs, no .
Type of robbery Category Maximum fine Maximum imprisonment
Robbery by sudden snatching (low level of violence) 3rd degree felony $5,000 5 years
Robbery without weapons (strong arm robbery) 2nd degree felony $10,000 15 years
Armed robbery with a deadly weapon 1st degree felony $10,000 Life imprisonment
Armed robbery with a weapon 1st degree felony $10,000 30 years
Home invasion robbery with a weapon 1st degree felony $10,000 30 years
Home invasion with a deadly weapon 1st degree felony $10,000 Life imprisonment
Carjacking (no weapon) 1st degree felony $10,000 30 years
Carjacking + deadly weapon 1st degree felony $10,000 Life imprisonment