## Methodology

In order to determine the incarceration rates for each state, our researchers collected state prisoner data 3**Source:** Carson, E Ann. (2014, September 30). Prisoners in 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2015, from http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p13.pdf and state population data 4**Annual Estimates of the Resident Population:**April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014.

**Source:** U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division .

**Release Dates:** For the United States, regions, divisions, states, and Puerto Rico Commonwealth, December 2014. For counties, municipios, metropolitan statistical areas, micropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions, and combined statistical areas, March 2015. For Cities and Towns (Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions), May 2015. from 2013.

Once we had each of these numbers for every state, we divided the total number of prisoners for each state by the state's population to determine the incarceration rate for each state.

#### For Example:

**Incarceration rate** =

Total prisoners (32,381)Total population (4,833,996)

=

**0.67%**
We then ranked the 50 states by their 2013 incarceration rates. The state ranked "1" has **highest incarceration** rate and state ranked "50" has the **lowest incarceration** rate.