In all my years crossing the Jeff Davis overpass, which overlooks the Orleans Parish Prison, I don't think I've ever before noticed inmates in the yard. What's up with that?
Did you know Louisiana incarcerates more adults per capita than any other state in the nation? And given that the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world, that means we lock up a lot of our people.
If you'd have asked me last week, I would have said I suspected that Orleans Parish has the highest incarceration rate in the state. But I recently read it's St. Tammany parish, where the incarceration rate is approaching 1%.
You can't really ignore the racial dimension of mass incarceration. According to Michelle Alexander, the United States "imprisons a larger percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid."