The staggering prison population within the United States is hard to visualize. Currently, there are over 2 million people incarcerated in the 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 942 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,283 local jails, 79 Indian Country jails, military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, and prisons in U.S. territories. That number it outrageously large, making the United States the country with the highest incarceration rate in the world. This pie chart helps to visualize the enormity of the prison situation in the United States and helps to delve into the why so many of the convicted and not convicted are locked up in local jails.
The pie chart offers a snapshot of the overall correctional system in the United States but does little to capture the churn of the correctional facilities and the people affected by the criminal justice system. Although 636,000 people walk out of prison gates a year, people will go to jail more than 11 million times a year, which highlights the enormous jail churn that occurs throughout the U.S. This insight is particularly shocking because most people in these jails have not been convicted. Of those entering jail, only 195,000 have actually been convicted and are generally serving time for misdemeanor sentences of under a year.
Each blown-up pie section highlights various aspects of incarceration within the United States such as drug offenses, the juvenile justice system, and racial and ethnic disparities in prison and jails. Looking at each section helps to understand what is going on with correctional control in the U.S. and paints a big picture of what needs to change. Hopefully this pie chart offers the tools needed to demand meaningful change to the justice system by helping policymakers and the public to responsibly consider the social and fiscal impacts incarceration has on society.
[Via: Prison Policy]