The United States is the world's leader in incarceration with 2.2 million people currently in the nation's prisons and jails — a 500% increase over the last forty years.1 According to the Vera Institute of Justice, smaller communities have largely driven growth as incarceration rates and jail admissions far outpace those of larger counties.2 Even in relatively small jails, there are stark disparate impacts.
1 “The Sentencing Project” 2021. Retrieved from https://www.sentencingproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Trends-in-US-Corrections.pdf.
2 Subramanian, R., Henrichson, C., Kang-Brown, J., 2015. “In Our Own Backyard: Confronting Growth and Disparities in American Jails.” Vera Institute of Justice.