Sixteen states have more people in prison cells than college dor - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Sixteen states have more people in prison cells than college dorms

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College or prison: which is more important? In 16 states in the land of the free, the answer is prison.

As was reported in MetricMaps, there are 16 states where there are more bodies filling up the prisons than there are students living in college dormitories.  What is truly fascinating, maybe even disturbing, is that nearly all of these 16 states are located in the South, the bottom portion of the country. You must view the map in order to appreciate the gravity of the situation.

Let than sink in for a minute.  More people behind bars than in the dorms. What could it be about the South that would explain this?  Could it be a tradition of slavery, racial violence and Jim Crow segregation, a legacy of criminalizing and dehumanizing people and of just not treating folks very well?

Keep in mind that the United States has the largest prison population in the entire world, at more than 2 million, and an incarceration of 500 prisoners per 100,000 residents (and over 700 when local jails are factored in the equation).  The devil is in the details, and apparently, much of story is in the South, which locks up a larger percentage of its population (552 per 100,000) than the Northeast (296), Midwest (389), or West (418).

Read more at The Grio

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