Vera Institute of Justice to Unveil Updated Incarceration Trends Website

Revised site includes a trove of data, visualizations, and analytical tools on local jail and state prison populations and demographics

Media Contact: Claire Belanger, 585-730-1218,

WHAT: On Thursday, December 16th at 10:00 am EST, experts from the Vera Institute of Justice will host a briefing and walkthrough of their Incarceration Trends website, which will now include analysis of more than five decades of local jail and state prison data at the national, state, and county levels. This brings many of the data points current to Spring 2021 and represents the most comprehensive look to date at the growth of mass incarceration across states, counties, and urban to rural geographies.

The Incarceration Trends Project underscores that the harms of mass incarceration have not been inflicted equally, with great detriment to communities across the United States. The nation’s biggest cities once had the highest rates of incarceration, but over the past several decades, jail incarceration and state prison admissions have declined in major metros as they rose precipitously in smaller cities and rural communities. The updated analysis presented in the Incarceration Trends Project highlights that the disproportionate criminalization and incarceration of Black and Latinx people is also the most pronounced in rural counties, as is the rise of women’s incarceration.

The newly visualized data also features the rebound in jail and prison populations after an unprecedented 14 percent drop in incarceration in the first half of 2020 (from 2.1 million to 1.8 million people) in response to the spread of COVID-19. As of Spring 2021, state prison decarceration had stalled, and jail populations continued to trend upward.

During the briefing, Vera experts will walk through the tool and underlying data sources and discuss the analysis and visualizations of incarceration trends. A Q&A will immediately follow the walkthrough.

WHEN: Thursday, December 16th at 10:00 am EST

WHERE: Register Here

WHO: Jasmine Heiss, Director of the In Our Backyards Initiative, Vera Institute of Justice

Jacob Kang-Brown, Senior Research Associate, Vera Institute of Justice

Bea Halbach-Singh, Research Associate, Vera Institute of Justice

Jason Q. Ng, Senior Data Scientist, Vera Institute of Justice

About the Vera Institute of Justice
The Vera Institute of Justice is powered by hundreds of advocates, researchers, and activists working to transform the criminal legal and immigration systems until they’re fair for all. Founded in 1961 to advocate for alternatives to money bail in New York City, Vera is now a national organization that partners with impacted communities and government leaders for change. We develop just, antiracist solutions so that money doesn’t determine freedom; fewer people are in jails, prisons, and immigration detention; and everyone is treated with dignity. Vera’s headquarters is in Brooklyn, New York, with offices in Washington, DC, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. For more information, visit