Louisiana Earns the Dubious Distinction of Being the Prison Capital of the World
Date:  06-29-2012

State incarcerates more people per capita than any country in the world
Most of us are aware that the United States has been dubbed the “Incarceration Nation” because although we have just five percent of the world’s population, America has 25 percent of its prisoners. If that isn’t shocking enough, Cindy Chang, writing for The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, offers some stunning facts on the criminal justice system in Louisiana:

  • While the United States as a whole incarcerates 730 people per 100,000 residents, Louisiana incarcerates 1,619.

  • One in 86 residents of Louisiana is locked up.

  • In Louisiana one in fourteen black males is behind bars, while one in seven is either on parole or probation.

    In an eight-part series, Chang gives readers a riveting look inside Louisiana’s deeply flawed criminal justice system. Part 1 features “Behind Bars: After two decades of policy shifts, Louisiana Locks Up Unprecedented Numbers” and “A Trade in Prisoners: Some Rural Parishes’ Economies Hinge on Keeping Their Prisons Full.”

    Other shocking allegations included in the Times-Picayune series include:

  • How private firms and sheriffs gain money and jobs

  • Why lifers are offered the best rehabilitation programs, even though they will never be released

  • How “powerful interests” make sure sentencing reform is hindered

  • How pardons applications sit on the governor’s desk, unread

  • How the state is lacking in reentry programs that can make transitioning easier, and reduce recidivism

  • Why Texas stopped helping Louisiana fill for-profit prisons

    To read this intriguing series, click on the link below, and then click on the box reading “Louisiana Incarcerated, Read the entire series.”

    Source: The Times-Picayune
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