Maryland Sees Greatest Incarceration Rate Drop in Nation

State prison incarceration rates in Maryland dropped 10% between 2016 and 2017 — the fastest decrease in the nation. This is according to a report recently published by the Vera Institute.

The report found that while nationally incarceration rates have been trending downward, some states such as Tennessee and Arkansas saw increases.

The Frederick News-Post reports from a local angle on the county jail’s success in decreasing its female incarcerated population despite the opioid crisis contributing to an uptick in the portion of women incarcerated for drug possession.

From 2013 to 2017, the number of women annually admitted to the county jail decreased from 539 to 414, according to Frederick County Sheriff’s Office data.

In that same period, the number of women charged with possession of drugs other than marijuana more than doubled, from 11 percent of the total female intakes in 2013 to 23 percent in 2017.

The article attributes some of Maryland’s decrease in incarceration to passage of the Justice Reinvestment Act and some of Frederick’s success with women to local programs such as the drug court.

For more information:

2017 People in Prison Interactive Site (Vera Institute)

2017 People in Prison Report (Vera Institute)

Maryland Leads Country in Reducing Incarcerated Population, Including Women (The Frederick News-Post)