Youth in Prison

On a given day, there are about 60,000 youths incarcerated in the US prisons, according to ACLU. To put this in perspective, the USA "incarcerates more of its youth than any other country in the world". The US is also the "only country in the world that continues to sentence children to life in prison without parole". This Silk visualizes by-state patterns in juvenile conviction. The data is the latest available and refers to 2013 official statistics

Youth Incarceration Rate (per 100,000)
Page Title
Age of Criminal Responsibility
Change in Youth Incarceration Rate (1997-2013)
Change in Number of Youth Under 18 in Adult Prisons (1998-2013)
Youth Under 18 in Adult Prisons (2013)
Youth of Color in Custody per White Youth (2011)
Youth Incarceration Rate (per 100,000)
Page Title
Alabama18-52%-61%412.5198Alabama
Alaska18-44%-100%03.6268Alaska
Arizona18-55%-59%581.8130Arizona
Arkansas18-4%-51%142.5224Arkansas
California18-60%-100%02.9230California
Colorado18-51%-96%12.1235Colorado
Connecticut18-59%-83%888.373Connecticut
Delaware18-49%-65%74.3193Delaware
Florida18-65%-75%1441.6203Florida
Georgia17-59%-39%924185Georgia
Hawaii18-40%-100%0114Hawaii
Idaho1885%70%171.7216Idaho
Illinois18-53%-58%682.5169Illinois
Indiana18-37%-64%322.2258Indiana
Iowa18-31%66%153.5224Iowa
Kansas18-29%01.8254Kansas
Kentucky18-28%143.5163Kentucky
Louisiana17-72%-74%234.1222Louisiana
Maine18-49%03.1127Maine
Maryland18-53%-71%224.3151Maryland
Massachusetts18-63%-77%35.794Massachusetts
Michigan17-56%-65%734.2217Michigan
Minnesota18-43%-59%137144Minnesota
Mississippi18-68%-95%86.776Mississippi
Missouri17-25%-88%134200Missouri
Montana18-50%-99%13.8165Montana
Nebraska18-45%-48%154.2337Nebraska
Nevada18-32%131.7245Nevada
New Hampshire18-58%02.775New Hampshire
New Jersey18-61%-77%84.4105New Jersey
New Mexico18-48%-100%02.7227New Mexico
New York16-65%-59%1313.6146New York
North Carolina16-55%-82%68575North Carolina
North Dakota18-37%04.9239North Dakota
Ohio18-47%-87%204.2198Ohio
Oklahoma18-38%-91%42.8142Oklahoma
Oregon18-26%-100%02279Oregon
Pennsylvania18-31%-71%287.1235Pennsylvania
Rhode Island18-63%0%02.8176Rhode Island
South Carolina17-62%-87%273.9174South Carolina
South Dakota18-37%04.2493South Dakota
Tennessee18-71%-78%84.3116Tennessee
Texas17-37%-75%692.3177Texas
Utah18-20%-95%13204Utah
Vermont18-44%-87%2258Vermont
Virginia18-46%-89%94.1202Virginia
Washington (State)18-54%-77%242.2149Washington (State)
Washington D.C.18-16%4613Washington D.C.
West Virginia1816%n/a03.4276West Virginia
Wisconsin17-59%Up 23%276.6173Wisconsin
Wyoming18-51%-100%01.7430Wyoming

SOURCE: ACLU, December 2014 Select values from the filters to customize the visualization. Reset them to see the overall statistics. Click "Explore" to transform this into another type of chart, change the variables plotted, add dynamic filters.

Change in Youth Incarceration Rate (1997-2013)

SOURCE: ACLU, December 2014 Select values from the filters to customize the visualization. Reset them to see the overall statistics. Click "Explore" to transform this into another type of chart, change the variables plotted, add dynamic filters.







Youth incarceration has been dropping drastically in most States. In Louisiana, the per 100,00 rate has decreased by 72% since 1997. Tennessee (-71%) and Missisiippi (-68%).

In two States, however, the youth incarceration rate went up significantly. In Idahoo, by a striking 85%. And in West Virginia by 16%.













Recent statistics estimate that people of color constitute about 60% of the whole incarcerated population. While being only 30% of the total U.S. population.


In term of juvenile justice, the youth of color are on average almost 4x more likely to be in custody than white youth. A by-state breakdown shows that many states are over this average. For example, in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota, people of color at least 7 times more likely to be in custody.
Youth of Color in Custody per White Youth (2011)

SOURCE: ACLU, December 2014 Select values from the filters to customize the visualization. Reset them to see the overall statistics. Click "Explore" to transform this into another type of chart, change the variables plotted, add dynamic filters.

Some states also have youths under 18 detained in adult prisons. A practice that, according to the Economist, spiked between 1990 and 2010 , when "the number of juveniles in adult jails went up by nearly 230%".

Youth Under 18 in Adult Prisons (2013) 

SOURCE: ACLU, December 2014 Select values from the filters to customize the visualization. Reset them to see the overall statistics. Click "Explore" to transform this into another type of chart, change the variables plotted, add dynamic filters.



In 2013, Florida was the state with most youths in adult prisons: 144.  New York followed with 131. Furthermore, NY, together with Virginia, is the only state where the age of criminal responsibility is as low as 16. In the last years, however, the number of youth in adult prisons decreased in all but 3 states. In Hawaii, California, Wyoming, Oregon, New Mexico, and Alaska, the drop has been by 100%. 

Change in Number of Youth Under 18 in Adult Prisons (1998-2013)

SOURCE: ACLU, December 2014 Select values from the filters to customize the visualization. Reset them to see the overall statistics. Click "Explore" to transform this into another type of chart, change the variables plotted, add dynamic filters.

Youth Under 18 in Adult Prisons (2013) and Number of Youth in Juvenile Facilities (2013)

SOURCE: ACLU, December 2014 Select values from the filters to customize the visualization. Reset them to see the overall statistics. Click "Explore" to transform this into another type of chart, change the variables plotted, add dynamic filters.

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The Silk team built this as a demonstration project, using data from ACLUYou can contact us at feedback@silk.co.