Study: New Mexico, Georgia had nation’s highest jail rates

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – A criminal justice reform group says two states with some of the nation’s largest percentages of minority residents also had the country’s highest jail incarceration rates in 2013.

The study by the Massachusetts-based Prison Policy Initiative released Wednesday showed that New Mexico had a jail incarceration rate of 340.8 per 100,000 residents four years ago.

Georgia had the second highest rate that year with 317.3 per 100,000 residents.

The group examined the number of people being held in local jails and found that pre-trail detentions spurred jail growth.

New Mexico has the largest percentage of Hispanic residents in the United States at 48 percent. Around 31 percent of Georgia residents are black – one of the highest percentages in the country.

The study examined New Mexico before its largest county instituted reforms to reduce its jail population.

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