« Intriguing Sixth Circuit procedural sentencing reversal of upward variance | Main | "Sentencing Rules and Standards: How We Decide Criminal Punishment" »

January 7, 2015

Mapping facilities in incarceration nation which "has more jails than colleges"

The terrific Washington Post wonkblog has this notable post by Christopher Ingraham with a fascinating map and discussion of prisoners and incarceration facilities in the United States.  The post is titled "The U.S. has more jails than colleges. Here’s a map of where those prisoners live." Here is an excerpt: 

There were 2.3 million prisoners in the U.S. as of the 2010 Census. It's often been remarked that our national incarceration rate of 707 adults per every 100,000 residents is the highest in the world, by a huge margin. We tend to focus less on where we're putting all those people....

Much of the discussion of regional prison population only centers around inmates in our 1,800 state and federal correctional facilities. But at any given time, hundreds of thousands more individuals are locked up in the nation's 3,200 local and county jails....

To put these figures in context, we have slightly more jails and prisons in the U.S. -- 5,000 plus -- than we do degree-granting colleges and universities. In many parts of America, particularly the South, there are more people living in prisons than on college campuses. Cumberland County, Pa. -- population 235,000 -- is home to 41 correctional facilities and 7 colleges.  Prisons outnumber colleges 15-to-1 in Lexington County, S.C....

[S]tates differ in the extent to which they spread their correctional populations out geographically. Florida, Arizona and California stand out as states with sizeable corrections populations in just about every county. States in the midwest, on the other hand, tend to have concentrated populations in just a handful of counties.

I encourage everyone to click through to see the map of all this in the WaPo posting.

January 7, 2015 at 09:25 PM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Mapping facilities in incarceration nation which "has more jails than colleges":


The left wing pro-criminal author propagandist claims to be a data guy.

Is the implication of this completely irrelevant comparison that we should be giving scholarships to organized crime members? That they could and should be bookworms, if only the misdirected, racist system could understand them better?

Some counties welcome correctional facilities for the great jobs they offer the illiterate members of the Democratic Party, in the community. So many get built in those locations. If you want to see a spectacular government make work project for illiterate, worthless Democratic Party voters, go through airport security. Instead of killing our enemy, the Democratic Party of the Lawyer administration appeases them, and forces buxom, blonde young females to be thoroughly frisked down to their underwear, because they fit the terrorist profile, naturally.

And why "particularly in the South"? That's where live the black people whose patriarchal families have been devastated by the vile feminist lawyer. Nor should whites get smug, because their families are next on the target list of vile feminist lawyers, and the bastardy rate among whites is 40%, and taking off upward like a rocket. Feminism is, of course, a false ideology, a Trojan Horse delivered by big government lawyers inside the gates of the nation. Instead of setting it on fire, its PC is admired for its beauty.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 8, 2015 3:20:12 AM

A very bad use of statistics. If you include city and county facilities in the count, then you will have a large number of correctional facilities and fewer colleges and universities just because of the way that states structure their government and divide responsibilities.

In most states, each county has to have a jail because each county is responsible for housing their own pre-trial detainees and misdemeanor offenders. If the state was required to house pre-trial detainees and misdemeanor offenders, you would have a handful of medium-sized facilities dispersed around the state rather than a large number of small facilities.

On the other hand, while elementary schools and high schools are a local responsibility (and thus there are more elementary schools and high schools than jails), higher education is handled mostly at the state or (for junior colleges) at the regional level. Thus, you have a handful (in my state, approximately twelve) public universities and colleges dispersed over the entire state.

When you compare apples and oranges, you can make statistics say anything.

Posted by: tmm | Jan 8, 2015 9:52:38 AM

The map does not do much. The highest incarceration rate, as reported on this blog, is Louisiana. I wonder why. Something to do with Jim Crow south and using inmates to build roads?

Posted by: Liberty1st | Jan 9, 2015 12:08:10 AM

Lib: Come on. Go down to line 10.


There are 330,000 husband-wife families. There are 200,000 single female households with bastards under age 18, without regard to race. Single females are just as crimogenic among whites as they are among blacks.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 9, 2015 12:24:01 AM

Thanks for such a great post...love your work

Posted by: Den | Mar 8, 2015 1:59:07 PM

Never found such a resourceful article.

Posted by: amy | Mar 8, 2015 2:01:15 PM

Its not funny that some people have more jails than colleges...God help us

Posted by: violet | Mar 8, 2015 2:05:36 PM

God help them...Why would they have more jails than schools

Posted by: violet | Mar 8, 2015 2:07:42 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB