Louisiana has recorded the highest incarcerated rate in the world, with California not far behind, Prison Policy Initiative reports.
“Compared to the rest of the world, every U.S. state relies too heavily on prisons and jails to respond to crime,” said the September report.
In Louisiana, 1,094 of every 100,000 are incarcerated — more than 1% of the state’s population.
The report compares every state in the U.S. with other countries. It concludes Louisiana would lead the world in per capita incarceration rates.
Using that comparison, 34 American states have higher incarceration rates than any other country.
California ranks 37th in the world — higher than countries such as Cuba, Thailand, Costa Rica, and Uruguay.
PPI research associates Emily Widra and Tiana Herring compared incarceration rates pertaining to “violent crimes” throughout the United States to those of the rest of the world.
For the purpose of their research analysis, “violent crimes” include four elements: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape/sexual violence, robbery, and aggravated/serious assault.
Countries such as South Africa, Panama, Costa Rica and Brazil have murder rates twice that of the U.S., yet much lower rates of incarceration.
California’s incarceration rates are lower than the national average, but the state locks up more than double the rates in Mexico and Canada.