May 21, 2022

New Data Tool and Report: “14 Million Spreadsheets Yield Massive First Online Database on Jails”

From National Journal (via Google Cache):

A new in­ter­act­ive map cre­ated by Vera In­sti­tute of Justice de­tails the rap­id growth in the jail pop­u­la­tion in every county. And it took 14 mil­lion Ex­cel spread­sheets to make it hap­pen.

The free on­line tool culls in­form­a­tion from pub­licly avail­able sources like the Bur­eau of Justice Stat­ist­ics and the Census Bur­eau on the 3,000 county jails na­tion­ally. There are five fil­ters through which the data can be ex­plored. The first one of­fers the growth per­cent­age change for each jail for which data is avail­able. The second re­veals the ra­tio of people in jail to the county’s pop­u­la­tion (x per 100K). The third breaks down the rate for Blacks/Afric­an Amer­ic­ans in each county, fol­lowed by an­oth­er fil­ter that does the same for wo­men.The last fil­ter re­cords the com­bined jail and pris­on data for New York and Cali­for­nia.

Direct to Interactive Data Resource (Map)

Report: “In Our Own Backyard: Confronting Growth and Disparities in American Jails”
Full Text, data files, methodology.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.