One possible takeaway is that states keeping more inmates in prisons and jails than people in college housing arguably have poor priorities. College is still a great investment, with multiplestudiesshowing higher education significantly increases people's wages and economic output. Mass incarceration in the US long ago hit diminishing returns that make it an ineffective crime-fighting tool; an analysis by the PewPublic Safety Performance Project found that the 10 states that shrunk incarceration rates the most over the past five years saw bigger drops in crime than the 10 states where incarceration rates most grew.
But the map doesn't show that there are fewer people in college than jail and prison. The entire US corrections population, which includes people in jail, prison, parole, and probation, totaled 6.9 million in 2013. In comparison, about 19.5 million people were enrolled for college that same year — but most students live off-campus.
So while criminal justice experts generally agree it's long past time to reduce the number of Americans in jails and prisons, the map isn't a perfect comparison. But it at least shows the US has a lot of jail and prison inmates.
A Princeton PhD, was a U.S. diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Central/Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. After leaving the State Department in order to express opposition to the planned invasion of Iraq, he taught courses at Georgetown University pertaining to the tension between propaganda and public diplomacy. For many years he shared ideas on the theme "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United" with Eurasian/European delegates participating in the "Open World" program.
Brown’s articles have appeared in numerous publications. A recent piece is “Janus-Faced Public Diplomacy: Creel and Lippmann During the Great War” (published in Nontraditional U.S. Public Diplomacy: Past, Present, and Future).
He is the author (with S. Grant) of The Russian Empire and the USSR: A Guide to Manuscripts and Archival Materials in the United States. He also served as an editor/translator of a joint U.S.-Soviet publication, The Establishment of Russian-American Relations, 1765-1815.