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Louisiana | The Prison Capital of the World! 7 Times More Inmates than All of China

Private prisons are the biggest shame of our country – to profit off of the incarceration of people. No other country in the world makes any type of profit from their prisons. But here, the value of stocks depend upon the number of people locked up in our private prisons.

Now, Louisiana now holds the world record as the state imprisons more people per capita than any other state or country in the world, with one out of every 86 adults behind bars. Its rate of incarceration is three times higher than Iran’s and 10 times higher than Germany’s.

More than half of the inmates in the state are housed in local prisons run by sheriffs, and the state’s correction system has created financial incentives for those sheriffs to keep prisons full.

Louisiana Incarcerated: Intro Video

Posted by Andrew Boyd, The Times-Picayune on Friday, May 11, 2012 9:12AM

Louisiana has more citizens in prison than anywhere else in the world. A New Orleans Times-Picayune team of reporters led by Cindy Chang along with photographer Scott Threlkeld investigates why. Here is a video preview of this Times-Picayune special Report.

More videos available here on

A majority of Louisiana’s inmates are now housed in for-profit jails, which are run in many instances by parish sheriffs located in rural areas of the state. The sheriffs receive approximately $25 a day per inmate.

In some instances, sheriffs outsource the prisons to for-profit companies who then operate the prisons themselves. In exchange, the sheriffs receive cash for their department, which allows them to hire more employees.

Additionally, private prisons are not provide hear the amount of rehabilitation as state-run prisons do. The dormitories typically house 80 or 90 women or men sleeping in a large room in bunk beds. But in private prisons, people are just lounging around that dorm. They will literally sit there day after day, year after year, until their sentence is over. Whereas in a state prison, which is where most states house almost all of their inmates, you’re busy whether you like it or not — you have a job or you take classes or you’re learning a trade that will help you get a job when you get out.

Private prisons do not have any reason to help prisoners make it on the “outside” because they love the recidivism rate – they want inmates to return after being released simply because the more inmates, the more the stocks are worth, thus more profit.

Somehow, this has to be unconstitutional. This is a conflict of interests. Laws are being created which a couple of decades ago would have been laughed out of the state house. But the more petty laws, the more will be broke, and the more inmates to filter into the system.

Although I am not from Louisiana, I am horribly ashamed that one of our states has SEVEN times the number of inmates in all of China.


NPR:  How Louisiana Became The World’s ‘Prison Capital’
NOLA:  LOUISIANA INCARCERATED How we built the world’s prison capital


    • Excellent! So you have been to China and seen what it is like? Or are you quoting what we have all been told to believe? I have been to a private prison many times over two years because I helped set up a dog training program in one – I know exactly what they’re about.

      • Sarcasm ….I said”hang on who are we talking about”

        What I was referring to is the fact the that the largest prison population in the world is in the US, they use this cheap labor to build everything from number plates to solar panels yet they tell us China is the greatest evil.
        I was agreeing with you and wish others could see the double standards spouted by corrupt politicians in the west.

    • Lets vote against any politician that gets donations from private prisons or prison unions that lobby for human trafficking in inmates.

  1. Fantastic post Michelle…this condition is a replica of ost antebellum slavery where Blacks were incarcerated by the 100s of thousands for profit. This effectively put blacks back into slavey and for profit then as it is now…free labor and increased profit or companies and profit to the local sheriff. It is shameful! That to keep the lucrative business of the prison complex going men and women are arrested and then farmed out for profit.

  2. I’m so glad that you write about this issue! It’s incredible to me that a country full of so many people shouting about freedom should have such an extraordinary number of people behind bars. And where is that paradise that’s supposed to come so long as we lock up an unprecedented amount of the population?

    • In my opinion, private prisons are a grotesque form of slavery. They should be illegal. But ALEC is a major part of them, plus they buy so many politicians, like JAN BREWER (she’s has ties to CCA), so this is going to be a hard battle. But there are many fighting and hopefully one day we’ll win.

  3. I have had many galley hands on my vessel from Angola. Only one out of seven will work a full day. Incarcerated on petit charges, once they are released they have become con men. I have heard countless stories on ingenious fraud schemes. We need more rehab for drug offenders, not Angola

  4. Michelle…Gurn here again… The Warden of Angola and the assissitant Warden ( a woman I might add) are actually humanitarian.. You should do a topic on the WORST impromptu warden in the US..You guessed it sports fans..Sherriff Joe Arpaio.. Now all of you readers that are Fans of soulutions that dont work, Like what ol Joe does lemme have it.. His recidivism rates are the highest in the US. Oh they my not come back to Maricopia, but they ply their trade elsewhere.. Would love to see Ol Joe at Nuremburg.

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