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Chart: where American mass incarceration is happening

Dylan Matthews is a senior correspondent and head writer for Vox's Future Perfect section and has worked at Vox since 2014. He is particularly interested in global health and pandemic prevention, anti-poverty efforts, economic policy and theory, and conflicts about the right way to do philanthropy.

This chart from the Prison Policy Initiative does a great job of driving home a basic but important point about the American prison state: it's largely a state and local phenomenon.

prison by state

(Prison Policy Initiative)

States vary widely in whether their incarceration rates are getting better or worse. To see what's happening in your state, check out this map from Vox's Dara Lind.