States That Reduced Incarceration Saw Greater Decline in Crime RateFebruary 02, 2015

Over the past five years, the majority of states in America have reduced their imprisonment rates and have seen crime rates fall at the same time.

In fact, the crime rate drop is greater in states that decreased incarceration than in states where imprisonment rates increased. A new data visualization from researchers at the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that, in the 33 states where incarceration fell, crime rates dropped an average of 13 percent.

Texas saw an 18 percent drop in its crime rate after it cut incarceration by 10 percent. Nebraska, in contrast, increased incarceration by 6 percent, and its crime rate dropped only 10 percent.

Alabama has one of the highest incarceration rates in the country, and its prisons are dangerously overcrowded at nearly twice their capacity.