Michigan has higher incarceration rate than Cuba, Russia and Iran


Brian Smith | mlive

If Michigan were a country, it would put people in prison more often than Russia does.

That’s one of the takeaways from a new analysis of incarceration rates by the Prison Policy Initiative that breaks the U.S. rate out by all 50 states. The U.S. leads the world in the percentage of citizens behind bars as a whole, but some states are far above that mark.

Michigan has higher incarceration rate than Cuba, Russia and Iran

The U.S. imprisons people at a rate of 716 people per 100,000 of population, but 22 states actually exceed that rate, with Louisiana’s rate being the highest at 1,341 people per 100,000.

Michigan’s rate is below the national rate, at 628 inmates per 100,000, but that’s still high enough to exceed every other country in the world.

The lowest incarceration rates belong to the tiny island nations of Timor-Leste, in southeast Asia, and Comoros, off the coast of Africa, as well as the Central African Republic. All three have rates below 25 inmates per 100,000.

“Nearly all of the countries with relatively high incarceration rates share the experience of recent large-scale internal conflict. But the United States, which has enjoyed a long history of political stability and hasn’t had a civil war in nearly a century and a half, tops the list,” the group’s report states.

The U.S. statistics are based on an analysis of 2010 U.S. Census data, as the federal government’s Bureau of Justice Statistics last released 50-state data in 2006. International rates were taken from the International Centre for Prison Studies.

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