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Mississippi has an incarceration rate of 1,039 per 100,000 people (including prisons, jails, immigration detention, and juvenile justice facilities), meaning that it locks up a higher percentage of its people than many wealthy democracies do. Read on to learn more about who is incarcerated in Mississippi and why.
Are you looking for information on what jails and prisons in Mississippi are doing to stop COVID-19? See our regularly-updated coronavirus response page.
29,000 people from Mississippi are behind bars
How many Mississippi residents are locked up and where?
29,000 of Mississippi's residents are locked up in various kinds of facilities
State Prisons 19,000
Local Jails 7,500
Federal Prisons 2,100
Involuntary Commitment 30
Indian Country 30
Sources and data notes: See https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/correctionalcontrol2018.html
Rates of imprisonment have grown dramatically in the last 40 years
Mississippi's prison and jail incarceration rates
Number of people incarcerated in state prisons and local jails per 100,000 people, 1975-2015
More than half of the people held in jails in Mississippi are held for federal or state agencies, primarily the state prison system.To avoid counting them twice, this population is not included in the yellow jails line. For annual counts of people in jails held for federal or state authorizes in Mississippi, see our table "Jail and prison incarcerated populations by state over time."
Also see these Mississippi graphs:
* total numbers rather than rates.
* Women’s prisons: Incarceration Rates | Total Population
* Men’s prisons: Incarceration Rates | Total Population
Mississippi's pre-trial population has more than tripled since 1978
Number of people incarcerated in local jails by conviction status, 1978-2013
This graph excludes people held for state or federal authorities from the total count of people held in Mississippi jails. Because a tremendous proportion (48%) of the population in Mississippi’s jails is held for the state prison system, this graph likely overstates the convicted population and understates the pre-trial population.
Today, Mississippi’s incarceration rates stand out internationally
In the U.S., incarceration extends beyond prisons and local jails to include other systems of confinement. The U.S. and state incarceration rates in this graph include people held by these other parts of the justice system, so they may be slightly higher than the commonly reported incarceration rates that only include prisons and jails. Details on the data are available in States of Incarceration: The Global Context. We also have a version of this graph focusing on the incarceration of women.
MISSISSIPPI INCARCERATION RATES BY RACE/ETHNICITY, 20100
(Number of people incarcerated per 100,000 people in that racial/ethnic group
Source: Calculated from U.S. Census 2010 Summary Pile 1. Incarceration populations are all types of correctional facilities in a state, including federal and state prisons, local jails, halfway houses, etc. Statistics for Whites are for Non-Hispanic Whites.
Racial and ethnic disparities in prisons and jails in Mississippi
Whites are underrepresented in the incarcerated population while Blacks and Latinos are overrepresented
See also our detailed graphs about Whites, Hispanics, and Blacks in Mississippi prisons and jails.
The relatively high proportion of Hispanics incarcerated in Mississippi is due largely to the Adams County Correctional Center, a Corrections Corporation of American facility that contracts with the Federal Bureau of Prisons to hold immigration detainees.
Mississippi's criminal justice system is more than just its prisons and jails
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