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Bill Quigley – America’s #1 Incarceration State

In 2014, the US Department of Justice confirmed Louisiana remained number 1 [3], among the 50 states, with 38,030 in prison, a rate of 816 per 100,000 over 100 points ahead of next highest state Oklahoma.   Because the US leads the world in incarcerating [4] its people, this means Louisiana is number one in the world.   Compare [4] Louisiana’s rate of 816 people per 100,000 with Russia’s 492, China with 119, France with 100, and Germany with 78.

Louisiana first became number 1 in the nation [5] in 2005 when it was imprisoning 36,083 people.  Louisiana remained number 1 [6], in 2010 with 35,207 in prison, an incarceration rate of 867 per 100,000 people, over 200 points head of the next highest state Mississippi.

It was not always so.  In 1965, Louisiana ranked 13th nationally [7] in putting its citizens in jail with a rate of 109 prisoners per 100,000 people.  In 1978, Louisiana only held 7,291 people [8]behind bars.  By 1986, Louisiana was 5th highest in the nation [9] in putting its own citizens in prison, with 14,580 behind bars, a rate of 322 per 100,000, according to the US Department of Justice.   In 1990, Louisiana rose to 3rd highest in the nation [10], putting 18,599 behind bars, a rate of 427 per 100,000.  In 2000, Louisiana moved to 2nd highest in the nation [11], imprisoning 35,047 behind bars, a rate of 801 per 100,000.

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