Tags: US State Facts | Voting Rights | incarceration rates | Louisiana

Rates of Incarceration in Louisiana

By    |   Sunday, 22 Nov 2015 07:43 PM

Louisiana is known for more than Mardi Gras and Cajun cuisine. It also carries a reputation as the prison capital of the world. The incarceration rate in Louisiana exceeds every other state in the U.S. and every nation on the planet.

A New Orleans Times-Picayune investigation in 2012 uncovered just how expansive the state's prison population has become since the 1990s. Louisiana imprisons five times more people than Iran, 13 times more people than China, and 20 times more people than Germany. The prison population has doubled within the last two decades alone.

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Incarceration Rate

In 2013, the National Institute of Corrections reported that 847 out of every 100,000 adults in the state were incarcerated. This incarceration rate is 114 percent above the national average of 395 prisoners per 100,000 adults. Louisiana is one of only five states with an incarceration rate exceeding 600 people per 100,000 residents and the only state exceeding 700 people per 100,000 residents.

Incarceration rates are even worse among minorities. Among black men from New Orleans, for example, one in 14 is serving a prison sentence. The Times-Picayune noted that one in seven are currently behind bars, out on parole or on probation.

Louisiana's prison population saw a small drop from 2012 to 2013. The state incarcerated 39,298 people in state and federal correction facilities in 2013, according to a Times-Picayune article. 40,170 prisoners were behind bars in these same facilities in 2012. This represented a 2.2 percent drop in prison population.

Harsher Sentences

Breaking the law often carries far worse consequences in Louisiana than similar offenses do in other states. Prison sentences in Louisiana are among the stiffest in the nation.

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Louisiana leads all other states in percentage of inmates serving life sentences without the possibility of parole, according to NPR. Louisiana also exceeds the national average for the number of nonviolent offenders kept behind bars.

The Times-Picayune noted that two convictions of auto theft can net a sentence of 24 years without parole. Three convictions on drug related charges can lead to a life sentence.

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Louisiana is known for more than Mardi Gras and Cajun cuisine. It also carries a reputation as the prison capital of the world. The incarceration rate in Louisiana exceeds every other state in the U.S. and every nation on the planet.
incarceration rates, Louisiana
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2015-43-22
Sunday, 22 Nov 2015 07:43 PM
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