Source: Vera Institute of Justice, 2016
The size of jails today
In 2014, the nationwide jail incarceration rate of 326 per 100,000 county residents exceeded the highest county rates registered in the 1970s, which rarely exceeded 300 per 100,000. Scroll the time slider or click the “Select data” button to navigate the data.
Average incarceration rate masks wide variation.
While the average incarceration rate among the 40 largest counties in 2014 was 271 per 100,000 residents, the full range of rates spans Philadelphia (810 per 100,000) and San Bernardino County, California (477 per 100,000) at the high end (shaded in red), and Hennepin County, MN (134 per 100,000) and Montgomery County, MD (121 per 100,000) at the low end (shaded in blue). Counties with incarceration rates closer to the average, such as Cook County, IL (281 per 100,000) and Maricopa County, AZ (302 per 100,000), are shaded in purple.