Thomas Robinson

21 States Leading the Nation in Incarceration Rates

Today, we’re taking a trip across America, but it’s not going to be your average road trip. We’re looking at the 21 states with the highest number of inmates! From the sun-kissed beaches of California to the deep-fried delights of the South, here are the states that are keeping their cells extra cozy. This data comes from a study by World Population Review.

The Lone Star State: 133,772 Prisoners

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Howdy partner! Down in Texas, they go big or go home, and that includes their prisoner count. With a whopping 133,772 individuals calling the pen ‘home,’ Texas is the crowned king of captive crowds. We guess it’s true what they say – everything’s bigger in Texas, even the inmate rosters.

The Golden State: 101,441 Prisoners

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The sunny shores of California are famous for Hollywood and Silicon Valley, but did you know they also host over a hundred thousand people in the state’s not-so-golden-bar hotels? The study shows they have around 101,441 prisoners. It’s giving the term ‘California dreaming’ a whole new meaning!

Florida – The Sunshine State: 80,417 Prisoners

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When you think about Florida, you probably think about retirees and alligators. But the state is so much more than that. It also has around 80,417 residents behind bars. Sure, sunshine’s great, but in Florida, it seems some folks are getting more shade than they bargained for. Perhaps they should’ve sunscreened their activities to avoid the sunburn of the law.

The Peach State: 47,010 Prisoners

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Georgia may be famous for sweet peaches, but with 47,010 prisoners, it’s also got a peach of a prison population. It looks like some folks took a bite out of the wrong peach and ended up in the state’s less-than-juicy jail cell! If you’re jammed up in Georgia’s jail, it’s definitely going to feel like the pits.

The Buckeye State: 45,029 Prisoners

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With 45,029 prisoners, Ohio has a lot more than simply buckeye candies and football. It seems like the real state pastime might be collecting folks who’ve fumbled the law. Who knew the Buckeye State would take such a strong interest in the ‘tight end’ security?

The Keystone State: 37,194 Prisoners

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Pennsylvania is the keystone of America. However, it locks down 37,194 individuals who’ve had a rocky time with the law. They might not be drafting the next Declaration of Independence, but they sure have declared their presence. In this state, forget the Liberty Bell – the cell block count is far more important. 

The Grand Canyon State: 33,914 Prisoners

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Arizona’s Grand Canyon is a vast, beautiful void. Unfortunately, the state’s prisons are almost the same – just without the beauty. They currently house around 33,914 residents. Now that’s one canyon you most certainly don’t want to echo in! The only rims these folks get to see are the ones topped with razor wire.

The Great Lakes State: 32,186 Prisoners

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Michigan has the Great Lakes, but it also has 32,186 prisoners. These folks traveled through stormy legal waters and docked at the state’s iron-bar marinas! Instead of lake views, these people get the less scenic sights of the cell block. On the bright side, they get to become masters at the license plate press.

The Old Dominion: 30,357 Prisoners

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They say that Virginia is for lovers. However, with 30,357 prisoners, it seems it’s also for lawbreakers. Let’s just say their version of a lover’s lane is heavily monitored by guards. And their state bird, the cardinal, is probably the closest thing to a tweet that these prisoners will be seeing for a while.

The Empire State: 30,338 Prisoners

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The Empire State is reaching for the skies with its skyscrapers. However, it’s also home to 30,338 individuals who’ve reached a bit too far and ended up in the slammer. That’s one empire no one wants to rule! In NY, orange really is the new black, and ‘The Big Apple’ is more of a big house.

The Sooner State: 22,391 Prisoners

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In Oklahoma, the wind comes sweeping down the plain while 22,391 prisoners are sweeping the cell floors. We have a feeling that this probably isn’t the state song that they’re hoping to dance to. It’s more like a box-step on a six by eight-foot dance floor! At least they’ll have plenty of time to think about the meaning of “Sooner.”

The Show Me State: 23,422 Prisoners

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Missouri’s motto is “Show Me,” and with 23,422 prisoners, they’re certainly showing us something interesting. Perhaps they’re really asking people to ‘show them’ IDs at the check-in desk of the state’s prisons. Sadly, research shows that numerous ex-cons think that the state’s reintegration system once they leave prison isn’t good enough.

The Hoosier State: 24,716 Prisoners

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It’s a fact – Hoosier hospitality is definitely warm. But something tells us the weather is a little too warm for Indiana’s 24,716 prisoners. They ended up in a place that’s not so great after all! In Indiana, only the guards get to make the “Hoosier daddy?” jokes – and that takes place during roll call. 

The Prairie State: 28,475 Prisoners

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Illinois is known for its Windy City and prairie lands. It seems it’s also breezing through the numbers with 28,475 residents in state-sponsored ‘retreats.’ Perhaps it’s the Windy City because of the sound of all those cell doors slamming shut? Or maybe it’s the collective sigh of those locked up. 

The Pelican State: 26,074 Prisoners

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In Louisiana, the jazz is hot, and the crawfish are spicy. But looking at the data, it’s also serving up a full plate of 26,074 inmates. The Pelican State is known for its beak – however, that’s a whole lot of bills to feed in the prison cafeterias. And no, there’s no Mardi Gras bead-throwing in the yard!

The Cotton State: 25,032 Prisoners

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In Alabama, cotton used to be king. However, it seems the new leader is the penal system, where around 25,032 folks are imprisoned. Sure, they’re not picking cotton, but they’re probably picking up some new hobbies instead. Forget ‘sweet home’ here – in this state, it’s more about ‘do not pass go, do not collect $200’.

The Tar Heel State: 28,995 Prisoners

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Ah, North Carolina the state that’s famous for its BBQ and Tar Heel spirit. It’s also got 28,995 individuals sticking around longer than they’d planned in the state’s all-inclusive ‘gray bar.’ Their BBQ might be smokin’, and it seems the correctional officers are doing the real grilling. And the only ‘heels’ they get to see are on the bottom of the standard-issue prison boots.

The Volunteer State: 21,995 Prisoners

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Down in Tennessee, it’s more than just country music – 21,995 prisoners are singing the jailhouse blues! We have a feeling it’s not quite the Grand Ole Opry debut they were looking for. Here, the only wood they’re working on is the carpentry shop at the correctional facility, and their version of a standing ovation is a head count.

The Bluegrass State: 18,560 Prisoners

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In Kentucky, horses run fast, and bourbon flows. It also has 18,560 people who ran a bit too wild and now have to slow their roll behind the bars of the Bluegrass State’s stables. Forget betting on the ponies – these people are placing their bets on the prison commissary’s stock. However, according to research, the state is struggling with its prisoner costs and desperately wants to reduce this.

The Magnolia State: 17,332 Prisoners

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Oh, Mississippi, we love your sweet magnolias and Southern charm. But the state is also home to 17,332 guests who overstayed their welcome and are now forcibly enjoying the state’s facilities. These folk could have been chasing Southern hospitality, but they found Southern justice instead. The only ‘sweet tea’ comes with a side of ‘just ice!’

The Dairy State: 20,202 Prisoners

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And lastly, we have Wisconsin. Here, there’s plenty of cheese, and the Packers are a religion. However, it appears that 20,202 fans have fumbled and ended up on the state’s less-than-luxurious bench. These cheeseheads might be missing their Sunday games, but they’ve got plenty of time to craft fantasy football leagues now.

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