Incarceration Is Skyrocketing in Rural America

AS A CANDIDATE and now as President, Donald Trump has promised to lock more people up. Undocumented immigrants. Drug dealers. Gang members in Chicago. But the tough on crime approach favored by President Trump won’t just hurt people in cities he’s painted as urban hellscapes. New research finds that the areas helping drive America’s rapidly rising incarceration rates are in rural America—areas, in other words, that voted for Trump.

A new report based on data that until recently remained siloed across the country shows that even as cities like New York and Los Angeles have been reducing their jail populations, jails in rural counties—think Campbell County, Tennessee or Boone County, Arkansas—are growing exponentially…

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